"The visit is important because it is the Ethiopian new
premier’s first visit to Cairo and it will reveal his vision on
the dam issue," said Hani Raslan, head of Sudan and Nile Basin
studies department at Cairo-based Al-Ahram Center for Political
and Strategic Studies.
During the meeting in Addis Ababa, the three states agreed to
form a scientific study group for consultation on the reservoir
construction and filling and to hold a summit among the three
countries’ leaders every six months.
A similar ministerial meeting in April in the Sudanese
capital Khartoum failed to reach an agreement over technical
issues regarding the GERD, with Ethiopia and Sudan holding Egypt
responsible for the talk failure and Egypt rejecting the blame
and inviting for further talks in Cairo.
"The meetings of the ministerial committees are unable to
make key breakthroughs without consensus at the level of
political leaderships," Raslan told Xinhua.
"I believe the visit is exploratory and it is meant to ensure
previous understandings and create new ones," the expert added,
noting that Ethiopia has already completed 65 percent of the dam
The GERD will be Africa’s largest dam upon completion with a
total volume of 74 billion cubic meters and a construction cost
of about 4.7 billion U.S. dollars.
It is expected to produce around 6,000 megawatts of
electricity for Ethiopia.
Egypt’s ties with Ethiopia have seen ups and downs since the
latter started the dam project in April 2011 while Egypt was
suffering turmoil following an uprising that toppled former
President Hosni Mubarak.
When President Sisi took office in 2014, he showed
understanding of Ethiopia’s aspiration for development through
the new dam.
In March 2015, the leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan
signed an initial cooperation deal on the principles of sharing
the Nile River water and the construction of the GERD.
They also met in January in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of
the 30th African Union summit and agreed to avoid
misunderstandings by joint cooperation on common interests amid
the GERD construction.
Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan
leaders agree to
co-operate in various areas, especially Nile River
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
Heads of Ethiopia, Egypt and
Sudan on Monday agreed to work together in various areas, with
particular emphasis given to partnership on Nile River.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Sudanese President
Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam
Desalegn, during their meeting on the margins of the 30th
African Union (AU) summit on Monday, have agreed to avoid
misunderstandings by working as one.
"They have agreed to work as one on matters among the three
countries, particularly on the construction of Ethiopia’s Grand
Renaissance Dam," according to the statement issued by the
Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.
The diplomatic relations among Ethiopia and Egypt is largely
intertwined with the Blue Nile River that originates from
Ethiopia and shared among Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.
The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)
on the river, which will be regarded as Africa’s largest dam
upon completion with a total volume of 74,000 million cubic
meters, has been a major issue among the two countries since its
commencement in April, 2011 with a construction cost of 80
billion Ethiopian birr (close to 4.7 billion U.S. dollars).
The three leaders have also agreed to meet once in a year and
put forward future directions regarding common areas of
interest, it was noted.
The three Nile-bounded countries have also agreed to form a
tripartite development fund institution, which will serve as an
instrument to strengthen economic integration and the people to
people relations among the three countries.
Desalegn, el-Sisi, and al-Bashir further reached on mutual
consensus on the procedures of future discussions among water
resources, foreign affairs, and other relevant ministries of the
three countries mainly on Ethiopia’s dam.
Accordingly, they have directed reports of relevant
ministers’ to be presented to heads of the three countries
within a one month margin, it was noted.
According to the statement, the three leaders have also
agreed to apply the consensus further on ministerial and expert
While Ethiopia and Sudan reached mutual consensus on the
construction of the dam, Egypt frequently expressed its concern
that the dam would affect its share of the river.
The three countries had formed a tripartite committee back in
2012 to create understanding and look into the benefits and
impacts the project would have on the three countries.