Tripartite talks on Ethiopia’s mega-dam conclude in Addis Ababa

The second round of trilateral negotiations surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) concluded Sunday, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing talks, which hold immense significance for Egypt and Sudan.

The talks, which began on Sept. 23 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, brought together representatives from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt to address the contentious issues surrounding the GERD project.

Ambassador Seleshi Bekele, the leader of the Ethiopian negotiating team, said Sunday that during the negotiations, the parties engaged in a fruitful exchange of constructive ideas aimed at bridging the differences that have persisted among them on various outstanding issues.

“The two-day tripartite negotiations on the Renaissance Dam have been completed this evening. We have exchanged constructive ideas on various outstanding issues with a view to bridge the differences among the parties. Ethiopia reiterates its commitment to continue negotiating in good faith,” Seleshi said in a statement.

In a statement released by its Ministry of Irrigation, Egypt said the latest round of discussions concerning the dam concluded without making any significant progress.

Ethiopia, the statement noted, remained steadfast in its opposition to compromise solutions or internationally agreed-upon technical arrangements that could address its specific interests related to the GERD without encroaching upon the rights and interests of the downstream nations.

“The spokesperson for the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation disclosed that substantive progress was not made during the most recent round of negotiations,” Egypt said in the statement after the meeting.

“Ethiopia remained opposed to any compromise solutions,” the statement added, noting that the Egyptian negotiating team remains committed to constructive negotiations governed by clearly defined objectives.

The GERD, situated on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia, has been a source of tension between the three nations for years.

Its potential impact on downstream water flow into Egypt and Sudan has raised significant concerns.

Egypt and Sudan, heavily reliant on the Nile’s waters for agriculture, drinking water and overall livelihoods, have consistently emphasized the importance of finding a fair and equitable solution through dialogue.

The negotiations centered on finding common ground on key issues, including the filling and operation of the dam as well as mechanisms for resolving disputes that may arise in the future.

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