Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan resolve their differences over key issues

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have managed to resolve differences on key issues regarding the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD).

 The countries have managed to reach consensus on issues that stalled the negotiation in the tripartite meeting which held on Tuesday 15 May in Addis Ababa. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the issues that the three countries have reached consensus yesterday are in accordance with the national interest of Ethiopia.

 The consensus reached on the establishment of an independent team to study the filling of the GERD reservoir and operating the dam is a major success. The agreement is a step forward for Ethiopia that has been insisting on the need to resolve difference jointly without the involvement of a third party.

 Egypt had been insisting for an involvement of a third party in the negotiation, which Ethiopia and Sudan had strongly opposed. The issue has been discussed for more than a year due to this.

The three countries have now reached agreement on the issue, as Egypt changed its view in this regard. Accordingly, a team that consists of five individuals from each country will be established to study the filling and operating of the dam.

 Another issue that stalled the negotiation was Egypt’s refusal to accept queries and concern from Ethiopia and Sudan on the terms of reference presented by the consultant firm.

However, the three countries have resolved this difference in yesterday’s meeting.

They agreed to present any of their query and concern through the tripartite technical committee in an organized manner to the firm.

They also agreed to discuss the responses of the consultant in their upcoming meeting.

Holding a high-level meeting at the level of the leaders twice a year in each country is among the agreed points.

They are also agreed to meet in Cairo at the beginning of June to discuss the framework that would allow the establishment of a joint infrastructure fund.

The final document is expected to be presented to the leaders in order to be approved.

Ethiopia has been discussing with the downstream countries to reach agreement on the time that should take to fill the dam without harming those countries and ways of presenting queries and concern on the intended studies.

The countries have managed their differences in yesterday’s meeting that continued until midnight.

 In his concluding remarks, Workneh Gebeyehu, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister expressed happiness over the agreement, as the issues that have been stalled for a long period of time are solved.

 He also expressed hope that the agreement would strengthen the people-to-people relations between the countries.

 Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri on his part said the meeting was conducted in a spirit of brotherhood and transparent way. He appreciated Ethiopia for its efforts towards reaching consensus.

 Sudanese Water Minister Mutaz Musa said that the meeting is unique as they are managed to resolve their differences following extensive discussions held for more than a year.

 He added that the achievement displayed that the countries can manage to narrow their differences without the involvement of a third party.