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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia fail to reach agreement in GERD talks

Surprise. Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia fail to reach agreement in GERD talks: Tripartite talks in Khartoum between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) ended on Friday without agreement, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry announced, according to Ahram Online. “We will continue to comply with the instructions of political leaders in our countries to break this deadlock, during the upcoming one-month period starting from 5 April to 5 May," he added. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told reporters that the 16-hour talks failed due to “a technical issue that we cannot discuss,” Reuters reports. Ghandour added that the talks were “constructive and important,” but needed more time, according to Sudan’s state news agency SUNA. Irrigation ministers from the three countries will discuss the outstanding issues in a meeting to be determined at a later date, he said, adding that the foreign ministers and heads of security agencies would join them when they make progress on these unnamed technical issues. Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty hinted in an interview with state-owned Al Ahram that Sudan came around in the talks and that Ethiopia remains the only country Egypt is at odds with. Negotiations on the dam had reached a gridlock last year, but the three countries agreed in January to continue looking for a solution.

Talks of an electricity grid interconnection project between Egypt and Sudan are faring better, following talks between Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker and his Sudanese counterpart Moataz Moussa,according to Sudan Tribune. The two agreed to hold more meetings and complete the necessary arrangements to launch the project in the coming period. Talk of the project began after the presidents of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia had agreed back in January to set up a joint investment fund between their three countries to finance infrastructure projects.

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