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Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan end Nile dam talks without accord

World Bulletin / News Desk
07 January 2014

Trilateral talks on a controversial dam project ended in Khartoum without an agreement. 

Trilateral talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia on a controversial Ethiopian dam project ended Sunday in Khartoum without an agreement.

Following the talks, Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Muttalib said the Egyptian side has put forward proposals for cooperation between the three countries.

“But the Ethiopian side refused to even discuss it,” he added.

Sunday’s talks were the third attempt by the three countries to reach an agreement on forming a committee that will be tasked with overseeing the construction of a huge Ethiopian dam on the Blue Nile.

Sudanese Minister of Water Resources and Electricity Moataz Moussa said a new round of talks will be held between the three countries.

He, however, gave no date for the next meeting, saying the date will be set after each party returns home for more consultations.

Ethiopia’s plans to build the dam have raised fears in Cairo that the move would threaten Egypt’s historical share of the historical river, which represents the country’s primary water source.

In May, Addis Ababa diverted the flow of the river, further raising concerns in Cairo.

A tripartite committee of experts from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan was drawn up in 2011 and tasked with assessing the dam’s possible environmental, economic and social effects on downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.

The committee, which includes ten water experts from the three countries along with international experts, recently called for further study of safety issues related to the dam’s construction and the project’s possible impact on the two downstream states.

Ethiopia, for its part, insists the new dam will benefit Egypt and Sudan, both of which will be invited to purchase electricity generated by it.

Source: World Bulletin / News Desk

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