The latest round of Nile dam negotiation talks between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan ended on Friday without reaching a consensus on a draft deal to be presented to the African Union (AU) regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), reported Xinhuanet.
“The three countries agreed to conclude the current round of talks without consensus on the draft integrated deal which was supposed to be submitted to the AU on Friday,” Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Ministry said in a statement.
Yasir Abbas, Sudanese irrigation and water resources minister, said continuation of the negotiation talks in their current form is unlikely to lead to achieving practical results. He further said that reaching a deal needs a political will.
According to the statement, the Sudanese delegation said dialogue is the only way to reach a deal on the Nile dam, saying that it was ready to resume negotiations any time after communication with the AU.
Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been negotiating under the AU over technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD during periods of drought or reduced rainfall. The $4 billion dam project has been a source of tension in the Nile River basin since Ethiopia began constructing it in 2011.
Ethiopia is hopeful that once completed the dam will produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become Africa’s largest hydropower dam upon completion. In July, the country completed the first stage of the filling of the dam’s 74 billion cubic-metre (19.5 trillion gallons) reservoir.
Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for 90 percent of its freshwater requirements, is concerned that the Nile dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the water resources. Both Egypt and Sudan have repeatedly insisted Ethiopia must not start filling the reservoir without reaching a deal first.