Africa > North Africa > Egypt > Nile dam meetings in Sudan extended for extra day, deal might be reached

Egypt: Nile dam meetings in Sudan extended for extra day, deal might be reached

2016/01/03

Foreign and water ministers of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on Monday decided to extend their ongoing meetings in Khartoum on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) for one additional day, while a Sudanese minister expected a comprehensive transaction may be reached.

The ministers of the three nations on Monday held a conference that continued for around 13 hours where the meetings were scheduled to end Monday with issuance of a joint communique.

"It has been decided to extend the meetings to Tuesday," Ibrahim Ghandour, Sudan's Foreign Minister, told reporters at the end of the meetings today.

"The meetings were convened in an atmosphere of trust. We have reached understandings on some issues, while other issues are still under consultations. We expect to reach a comprehensive transaction by the end of the meetings on Tuesday," he noted.

The meetings of the three nations' ministers started on Sunday with the aim to reach understandings on the GERD.

Last March, the three nations signed a declaration of principles in Khartoum stipulating continuing the talks on the political and technical courses and conduct technical studies to protect the shares of the three nations in the Nile water.

In September 2014, local expert committees in each of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia recommended conduction of two additional studies on the GERD, the initial on the dam's impact on the water shares of Egypt and Sudan and the second on the expected environmental, economic and social impacts on Sudan and Egypt.

The GERD worries Egypt which fears that the construction of the dam would affect its share in the Nile water, which amounts to 55.5 billion cubic meter, while Ethiopia reiterates that the dam is likely to make a shift in its wealth, namely in the field of electricity.

The GERD, extending on an area of 1,800 square kilometers, is scheduled to be completed in three years at a cost of 4.7 billion U.S. dollars.

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