KHARTOUM – Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have agreed on a set of principles for the filling and operation of the $4-billion Renaissance Dam as they are expected to sign a deal by the end of January.
Ministers of foreign affairs and water resources of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan held a three-day meeting in Washington from 13 to 15 January to discuss the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
In a joint statement released on Wednesday by the U.S. Treasury Department, the parties said they noted the progress achieved by the technical committees and identified six points agreed towards a final agreement.
The statement underscored that the filling will be undertaken in an adaptive manner taking into account its impact on the downstream countries.
Further and to reassure Egypt, the process will take place only during the three months of the wet season particularly from July to August, and will “continue in September subject to certain conditions”.
Once the filling reached a level of 595 meters above sea level, and the early generation of electricity, the filling will continue according to an agreement to be negotiated by the parties taking into account the prolonged periods of dry years, drought and prolonged drought.
“The Ministers agree that there is a shared responsibility of the three countries in managing drought and prolonged drought,” stressed the joint statement.
Recently, Egypt said that Ethiopia failed to offer needed guaranties to ensure a slow filling during drought. For its part, Addis Ababa said it cannot accept a proposal made by Cairo to achieve this process during 12-21 years.
“The Ministers agreed to meet again in Washington, D.C. on January 28-29 to finalize a comprehensive agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD, and that there will be technical and legal discussions in the interim period,” said the statement.
On Tuesday, the ministers of foreign affairs and water resources of the three countries met with President Donald Trump who encouraged them to finalize a deal and to enhance cooperation and regional integration.