Monday, August 31, 2020

Sudan Calls for New Approach in Talks on GERD

In a meeting held on Friday, the three Nile riparian countries failed to agree on a draft paper prepared from their three negotiating positions with the participation of the technical teams of the three countries, as it had been requested from the African Union.

The draft was supposed to be submitted to the Bureau of the African Union to discuss it with the prime minister of the three countries directly.

However, after a lengthy on Friday, the water ministers of the three countries agreed that each country individually sends its vision for the next stage of the negotiations.

The Sudanese Irrigation Minister issued a statement Yasir Abbas issued a statement recalling that his country had proposed a greater role in the drafting of this paper by the African Union and the observers: European Union and the United States of America.

Abbas further stressed that reaching an agreement "requires a political will". Also, he added that the "negotiations in their current form would not achieve practical results".

The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was in Khartoum on 25 August for talks with his Sudanese counterpart on the Grand Renaissance Ethiopian Dam (GERD).

Following the meeting, the two parties agreed that it is imperative to reach "A win-win formula that would make the GERD a vehicle for regional integration between the riparian countries".

On 27 August, the Foreign Policy Magazine reported that U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo approved a plan to halt nearly $130 million in U.S. foreign assistance to Ethiopia.

The move means to put pressure on Ethiopia to reach a deal with the downstream countries particularly Egypt which relies entirely on the Nile water.

It is worth noting that Ethiopia calls for a new process in two parties the first about the filling of the GERD and the second on a water-sharing agreement.

But, Egypt and Sudan reject this new proposition and stick that the discussions should continue on a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the giant dam.


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