Dam talks ‘at crossroads’ after Egypt rejects Ethiopian plea
- Cairo is calling for alternative ideas to deal with droughts and years of low revenue
(arabnews)–CAIRO: Egypt has rejected a request by Ethiopia to postpone a settlement on points of disagreement surrounding Ethiopia’s controversial Renaissance Dam.
Ethiopia wanted the issue to be referred to a technical committee, which will be formed to oversee implementation of the terms of the agreement.
Ethiopia’s request was submitted on the eighth day of the Renaissance Dam negotiations.
Egypt rejected the request, saying the points of disagreement are major technical issues.
The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said that two meetings for the technical and legal teams from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will be held to try to solve the dispute over the dam.
Negotiations are sponsored by the African Union, representatives of the three countries and observers.
Cairo is calling for alternative ideas to deal with droughts and years of low revenue, the Egyptian ministry said.
Egypt also presented its vision regarding the annual operating rules and refilling, as part of an attempt to resolve technical disagreements between the three countries.
Sudan believes a compromise is possible on the project.
“In general, there has been progress on technical issues,” the Sudanese ministry said.
“There was also an extensive discussion on future development projects on the Nile and its relationship to water use between the three countries.”
The dam, which sits on the Nile’s main tributary, is upstream of Egypt and has the potential to control the flow of water to the country.
When fully operational, it will be the largest hydro-electric plant in Africa, providing power to 65 million Ethiopians who currently lack a regular electricity supply.
Ethiopia says it will start filling the dam to coincide with the rainy season, a move Egypt rejects.