Egypt and Sudan demand ‘serious’ negotiations with Ethiopia on the dam project

Egypt and Sudan

Egypt EgyptEgypt and Sudan have invited Ethiopia to participate in “serious” mediated talks aimed at settling a standoff over a massive Nile dam project. The two countries urge Addis Ababa to start tripartite discussions on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project right now.

Following a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Sudanese counterpart Ali Al-Sadiq issued a joint statement emphasizing “the importance of continuing to seek serious negotiations on the renaissance dam under the auspices of the African Union presidency, so that this leads to a binding legal agreement that achieves the interests of the three countries,” according to the statement.

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The conversations between Shoukry and Al-Sadiq took place on the margins of the Arab League’s ministerial conference in Cairo . They discussed measures to further improve bilateral cooperation in all spheres and coordinate their stances on regional and international problems during their meeting. “The necessity of preserving Sudan’s unity, integrity, and sovereignty over its territory,” the ministers said, “with an emphasis on supporting continuing efforts aimed at creating sustained stability in the nation.”

Egypt has stated that Ethiopia’s unilateral decision to begin operating the Blue Nile project was a breach of a statement of principles made by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2015. Ahmed’s remarks came after the dam’s first phase of energy generation was inaugurated at a ceremony attended by hundreds of officials and members of parliament. Since 2011, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia have been negotiating to achieve a deal on filling and running the dam, but extensive rounds of talks have yet to provide a result.

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