Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia have agreed to resume negotiation talks over the Nile dam on Tuesday and present draft proposals over the management of the giant hydroelectric dam, Sudan’s water ministry said, reported Al Jazeera.
The three countries have been involved in the dam talks since 2011, but are yet to reach an agreement due to unresolved issues. Egypt is concerned that the dam could lead to water shortages in the country, while Sudan is concerned about the dam’s safety. The talks were suspended for more than a week at the request of Egypt and Sudan over Ethiopia’s agenda for negotiation.
“After lengthy discussions, the attendees decided to resume negotiations on Tuesday … to work on unifying the texts of the agreements submitted by the three countries,” the Sudanese ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The decision was taken during a joint six-party meeting held on Sunday. The meeting was attended by ministers of water resources and irrigation and the ministers of foreign affairs from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to discuss the points of conflict in the agreement to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The African Union experts and observers also participated in the ministerial meeting via video conference.
On Saturday, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli made a visit to Sudan where he met with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and also discussed the Nile dam issue.
The two leaders released a joint statement saying that “negotiations are the only way to resolve the problems of the dam”.
They said they were “optimistic regarding the outcome of the negotiations” held under mediation by the African Union (AU), according to the statement.
On Saturday, Pope Francis also called for dialogue between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, urging them not to let a dispute over a dam on the Nile lead to conflict.
“I invite all parties involved to continue on the path of dialogue so that the eternal river will continue to be a source of life, which unites and does not divide, which nurtures friendship, prosperity and fraternity and not enmity, misunderstanding and conflict,” the Pope said.