A new two-day round of negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan ended in Cairo on Tuesday with no resolution to their years-long dispute over Addis Ababa’s building of a mega-dam on the Blue Nile, which threatens water security, the neighbours say.
The next round of talks will be held in the Ethiopian capital, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said.
Earlier negotiations in August, which were put on hold since April 2021, ended with no tangible progress. At the time the ministry said that Ethiopia’s position had not changed.
Another round of talks was held in Addis Ababa in September which also ended with no resolution to the dispute.
In between August and September’s talks, Addis Ababa announced it had completed the fourth and final filling of the dam’s 74 cubic-kilometre reservoir.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed celebrated its completion “despite external pressure,” he said on platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
This summer, Mr Ahmed agreed to resume negotiations on the dam with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, to reach a binding agreement on filling and operating the dam.
Egypt and Sudan have insisted that Ethiopia enters a binding agreement over the operation of its $3 billion dam, however, the latter has maintained that “recommendations” rather than anything binding should be enough to appease its downstream neighbours.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, fears that the dam would reduce its share of the Nile’s waters and subsequently wipe out hundreds of thousands of jobs in its vast agricultural sector, disrupting its delicate food balance at a time of rising prices and rapid population growth.
Ethiopia has maintained that it is well within its rights to build the hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, which originates in Lake Tana. The tributary provides more than 85 per cent of the Nile’s waters.
Source: The Nationalis