Trilateral Technical Meeting over GERD Kicks Off

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Addis Ababa november15/2019 The 6th technical meeting Water Affairs Ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) kicked of today in Addis Ababa.

Representatives of the government of the United States of America and the World Bank presided over the trilateral meeting for the first time to observe the process.

The two-day trilateral technical consultation meeting aimed at resolving differences on the filling and operation of the GERD among the three riparian countries.

It is to be recalled that during the past technical meeting in Khartoum, Egypt forwarded proposal on the filling and operation of the dam, which are totally rejected by Ethiopia.

In its proposal, Egypt has requested for the continuation of the average natural flow of the Nile water during long term operation and requested Ethiopia to guarantee a water level of 165 meters above mean sea level for the Aswan High Dam by releasing water from the GERD and demanded to establish permanent office at the dam with its own personnel.

However, Ethiopia has rejected the proposal and said it was “technically impractical and is tantamount to agreeing to hold the operation of the GERD hostage to Egyptian water use downstream. 

At a dialogue hosted by the U.S. government in Washington D.C. on November 06, 2019, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have reached at “a consensus” to resolve their differences through discussions by January 15, 2020.

Speaking at the opening, Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister, Seleshi Bekele said today’s meeting is the outcome of Washington’s consensus that the three countries reaffirmed their joint commitment to reach a comprehensive, cooperative, adaptive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.

The ongoing meeting is vital, Seleshi stated adding that “it would enable the three countries to facilitate discussion on filling and operation of the GERD in accordance with the declaration of principle to ensure equitable utilization of the Nile Water.  

“This technical meeting for the first time involves the participation of observers from the government of U.S. and the World Bank that the arrangement will help us for effective completion of technical deliberation in an open and cooperative manner to continue and ensure the mutual benefits,” he said.

It was learned that foreign ministers of the three countries also met with President Donald Trump in Washington D.C. to discuss on GERD issue.