Sudan-mediated talks over GERD to continue until June 13: Spokesperson

Sudan-mediated talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will continue until June 13, according to Mohammed al-Sebaey, Spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources.

The aim of the talks is to get Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt to return to the negotiating table and to hammer out a final agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.

During a phone interview with the television program “Yahduth fi Masr” (What’s Happening in Egypt), Sebaey added that Egypt looks forward to achieving positive results from the talks.

Irrigation ministers from the three countries held a meeting on June 9 via video conference in the presence of international observers, including the United States, the European Union, South Africa, and the president of the African Union.

The meeting came at the invitation of Sudan, three weeks after launching its initiative get the three countries to return to the negotiating table.

However, Egypt described the first round of talks as being largely unproductive.

“It is difficult to describe the meeting as positive or as having reached any significant result. It focused on procedural issues related to the schedule of meetings, the subjects of discussions, and the role and number of observers,” a June 10 statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources read.

Egypt also used the statement to emphasize it’s position, which includes:

– Requesting Ethiopia to announce that it will not take any unilateral action in filling GERD’s reservoir until negotiations are complete and an agreement is reached.

– The reference for the discussion is the February 21, 2020 document prepared by the United States and the World Bank, based on the three countries’ talks during the past several months.

– Observers to the negotiations should act as facilitators.

– The negotiation period to reach a full agreement on filling and operating the GERD will be from June 9 to June 13, 2020.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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