Ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are expected to resume negotiation talks on the filling and annual operations of the controversial Nile dam on Tuesday reported Anadolu Agency. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is chairman of the African Union for 2020, confirmed the meeting.
Negotiations between the three countries over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) stalled late in August after the African Union took up mediation following the breakup of the Washington rounds in February. The three countries are at odds over the filling and operation of the dam even after the reservoir behind the Nile dam began filling in July.
In a statement released on Monday, the South African President Ramaphosa said he was pleased that the leaders of the three countries, Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, Abdel Fettah El Sisi of Egypt and Abdella Hamdok of Sudan, agreed on the resumption of negotiations after a seven-week long haitus.
Ramaphosa asserted that the resumption of the Nile dam talks “is indicative of the strong political will and commitment” by the three leaders to “the peaceful and amicable resolution of the GERD matter.”
“Without any doubt, the successful conclusion of the GERD negotiations will enhance and accelerate regional integration, while boosting cooperation and sustainable development in the region, for the benefit of Africa as a whole,” the South African president said.
The statement comes three days after the United States President Mr. Donald Trump publicly put pressure on the Sudanese leader to help resolve the Nile dam dispute.
On Friday, Trump called for an agreement between the countries, but said it was a dangerous situation and that Egypt could end up “blowing up that dam”.
Sudan’s Irrigation Ministry said the Tuesday talks would discuss a new model for the ongoing negotiation talks giving “a bigger role to experts and observers”.
“Then the new negotiation methods will be put to the heads of state to decide on them and resume negotiations on the basis of a precise timetable,” the ministry said in a statement.