Egypt is hosting a new round of talks with Ethiopia and Sudan on a disputed dam built by Ethiopia on the Nile, as part of an agreement reached in Washington in November 2019.
The agreement was reached in Washington to break the deadlock in their long-standing row over the river’s critical water supply.
The water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan meet from Monday, December 2 to Tuesday, December 3 for talks on the rules of operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and filling its reservoir.
Ethiopia began building the $4.8 billion hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam in 2010, seeking to be Africa’s biggest power exporter.
Egypt relies almost exclusively on the Nile for farming, industry and domestic water use and fears that the dam will harm its supply.
Ethiopia calls Egypt’s worries baseless.
The Cairo-hosted talks are the second of four rounds agreed in Washington in November, during negotiations attended by the Foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as representatives of the U.S. government and the World Bank.
A third meeting in Khartoum is set to be decided following the conclusion of Monday and Tuesday’s meetings.
A fourth meeting will then be held in January in Addis Ababa, before a meeting of the foreign and water ministers of the three countries in Washington in mid-January 2020.
The timeframe for filling the reservoir has been a major concern for Cairo.
The Egyptian government wants the process to be carried out slowly over the course of seven years.