Egypt submitted a “fair technical” solution for the disagreement between Cairo and Addis Ababa about the under-construction Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to a statement by the Egyptian Cabinet on Wednesday.
The Egyptian High Committee for Nile Water held a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli in the presence of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry; Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Aatti; representatives of the Ministry of Defense, General Intelligence, and the Administrative Control Authority, and Specialized Experts to discuss the dispute over the Renaissance Dam.
The committee affirmed that importance of holding tripartite negotiations between Ethiopia and the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan) according to a specific timetable, the statement said.
The High Committee reviewed the various stages of negotiations conducted over a long period of time without reaching an agreement, the statement continued.
Egypt revealed proposing to hold the six-party meeting for foreign and water ministers of the three countries on September 15-16 rather than August 19-20 to reach a solution for filling the dam’s reservoir without causing harm to the downstream countries’ water share (55.5 billion cubic meters), the statement added.
The problematic point between Egypt and Ethiopia is a technical one related to the period of filling the dam’s reservoir with water. Ethiopia asked for 5-6 years to fill the reservoir, while Egypt asked Ethiopia to abide by the Nile water quantity flow in filling the reservoir to “avoid any significant damage on the downstream countries,” former Head of the Central Department for Technical Cooperation at the Nile Sector of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation Mamdouh Mohamed Hassan told Egypt Today in previous remarks.
Both President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed affirmed their keenness to resume the negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.
Egypt’s concern over its share was escalated after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011. A series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan has begun in 2014. One year later, the three countries reached an agreement, per which the downstream countries should not be affected by the construction of the dam.