Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia set one-month deadline to resolve issues in GERD talks
Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia set yesterday a one-month deadline for each country to present solutions for “pending technical issues” over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to an Ittihadiya statement (pdf). President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, held a trilateral meeting in Addis Ababa yesterday on the sidelines of the African Union summit, during which they agreed to hold a meeting in one month’s time with the foreign and irrigation ministers of each country to discuss the proposals. The three leaders also decided to exchange their countries’ studies and technical information on the dam “so as to ensure the full implementation of the terms of the Declaration of Principles and to not negatively affect Egypt’s and Sudan’s water interests.” Negotiations over the dam hit gridlock late last year after Ethiopia and Sudan refused to ratify the results of the environmental impact studies on the dam, which had been conducted by French consultancy firms. Desalegn reassured El Sisi and Al Bashir yesterday that neither of their countries will be negatively affected by the GERD.
Separately, El Sisi, Al-Bashir, and Desalegn also agreed to set up a joint investment fund between their three countries to finance infrastructure projects.