Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held talks on Thursday (13 July) in Cairo with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project on the Nile River and both leaders agreed on the urgent need to launch negotiations on the filling and operation of the dam within four months.
The talks on the dam project came ahead of a summit of Sudan’s neighboring countries in the Egyptian capital city to discuss means of resolving the Sudanese conflict. Both leaders have expressed a willingness to overcome the longstanding impasse and seek an amicable solution to address concerns about water scarcity and the GERD’s impact on the Nile. While Egypt views the GERD as an existential threat to its water share from the Nile River, Ethiopia sees the dam as crucial for its development process.
To that end, the Nile River constitutes the only source of fresh water for Egypt, which is why the North-East African country wants Addis Ababa to reach a binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam. Meanwhile, Ethiopia denies any harm to the water share of Egypt and Sudan, two downstream countries. But years of negotiations between the two countries have so far failed to make any breakthrough in reaching an agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD. The decision to initiate expedited negotiations marks a significant development in resolving the dispute, which has been ongoing since construction on the GERD began in 2011.
Source: The North Africa Post