Al-Jazeera correspondent said that Sudan rejected the African Union’s proposal to extend negotiations on the Renaissance Dam for 10 days, while Egypt and Ethiopia agreed to it.
This comes at the conclusion of a new round of negotiations – via video – with the participation of the foreign and irrigation ministers in Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, and in the presence of observers from the European Union and the United States.
A round of negotiations ended on November 5 without making any tangible progress on the contentious issues.
Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Yasser Abbas, said that Sudan is committed to negotiations sponsored by the African Union for a binding agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
During a press conference, Abbas denounced Egypt and Ethiopia’s adherence to continuing negotiations with previously tested methods that brought matters to a dead end, noting that Sudan insists on a new approach to negotiations.
On Thursday, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia began a six-party meeting “within the framework of negotiations on filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam”.
The meeting was held between the Foreign and Irrigation Ministers from the three countries, via television, in keeping with the Corona pandemic.
On November 4, Khartoum announced the agreement of the irrigation ministers in the three countries to end the round of negotiations that began at the beginning of the month, and to return the file to the African Union.
The Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation said, in a statement at the time, that “this round failed to make any tangible progress or agreement on the role that experts play in the negotiation, its methodology, paths and timetable for it.”
Addis Ababa insists on filling the dam to generate electricity, even if it does not reach an agreement with Cairo and Khartoum, which the latter two refuse, for fear of the repercussions.
Egypt fears the potential negative impact of the dam on the flow of its annual share of the Nile River water, which amounts to 55.5 billion cubic meters.
According to Egyptian media, the main points sticking to the technical side of the negotiations are the definition of the continuous operation curve of the dam, the filling of the dam in future droughts, and another point related to discharges in the extended drought years.
As for the points related to the legal aspects, they are the binding nature of the agreement and the dispute resolution mechanism.
The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said in a statement to Al-Jazeera that the current round of the Renaissance Dam negotiations will not be affected by what is happening in the Tigray region, and that the region’s crisis will end soon.
Mufti added that these negotiations are in the interest of the three countries, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.