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Nile dam talks still ongoing

Christian Fernsby |
Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced that the tripartite U.S.-mediated talks over the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River are still ongoing.

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Topics: NILE    DAM   

The current meetings, kicked off on Jan. 28, were scheduled to conclude on Jan. 29 with a comprehensive agreement.

Egypt's foreign minister and the minister of water resources are participating in the U.S.-sponsored ministerial meeting in Washington, during which Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia are discussing the filling and operation of Ethiopia's new dam, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez posted on his official twitter account.

He added that the negotiations, which are also attended by representatives of the World Bank, aim to reach a comprehensive agreement on the rules for the filling and operation of the GERD.

Upstream Nile Basin country Ethiopia started building its grand hydropower dam in 2011 on the Blue Nile, while Egypt, a downstream country, is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of Nile water.

Egypt's fellow downstream country Sudan eyes future benefits from the GERD construction despite Egypt's concerns. The GERD is expected to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become Africa's largest hydropower dam upon completion.

Filling the reservoir, with a total capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, may take several years. While Ethiopia wants to fill it in five to six years, Egypt seeks to prolong the period to avoid the possibility of a water shortage.

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