Friday, July 18, 2014

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to hold tripartite meeting in August

Talks will resume in the Sudanese capital in mid-August over Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, a source of contention since last May
Representatives from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet in Khartoum in mid-August to discuss Ethiopia's ongoing Nile dam project, a source in Egypt's irrigation ministry told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.
The focus of the meeting will be to discuss critical points from a report issued by the tripartite committee last year on the potential impact of the Grand Renaissance Dam, said the Egyptian official.
Egypt has favoured the report as it backs Cairo's claims that the hydroelectric dam – set to be Africa's largest upon completion – will hinder its access to the Nile, the country's major source of water.
Ethiopian officials insist the dam will not hamper Egypt's share of Nile water and have instead pointed to gains in electricity production offered by the project.

In a summary issued on the report last year, Egypt stressed that Ethiopia has failed to conduct the needed studies on the dam's potential environmental and social impact on downstream countries.
The report also stated that the ability of Egypt's High Dam to produce electricity will likely be affected by the Ethiopian dam project, especially during the Nile's high and medium flood seasons.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan formed a tripartite technical committee last year to study the possible effects of the dam.
But the committee's discussions were halted in December when Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir announced his support for the dam during a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
The upcoming meeting in August will respect international legal principles, the official stressed to Al-Ahram.
Egypt has long demanded that Ethiopia submit the dam's construction plans for assessment by international experts.
However, Ethiopian Irrigation Minister Alamayo Tegno insists his country is already committed to the recommendations of an international committee of experts.
Meanwhile, Egypt and Ethiopia will form a joint committee in the upcoming three months to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries, the foreign ministers of both countries announced in a joint statement on Friday.
http://english.ahram.org.eg