CAIRO Egypt (Xinhua) --
Egypt expressed understanding of Ethiopia’s request to delay the
upcoming tripartite negotiations with Egypt and Sudan over
Ethiopia’s grand dam currently being constructed on their shared
Nile River, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on
ministerial meeting was scheduled for Feb. 24-25 in the Sudanese
capital Khartoum, but Ethiopia’s ongoing political unrest and
anti-government protests, which led its prime minister to
resign, might be behind the delay.
Foreign Ministry understands the conditions that might have led
Ethiopia to request delaying the meeting and we hope they will
be cleared very soon,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman
Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement Sunday.
Ethiopia and Sudan
eye massive benefits from the construction of Grand Ethiopian
Renaissance Dam (GERD), also known as the Renaissance Dam, while
Egypt is concerned it might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter
annual share of the Nile River water.
The presidents of
upstream country Ethiopia and the two downstream partners Egypt
and Sudan have recently met in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on
the sidelines of the 30th African Union summit and
agreed to avoid misunderstandings by joint cooperation on common
“Egypt looks forward
to commitment to the time frame set by the three leaders to
settle the outstanding technical disagreements, given that the
Renaissance Dam issue affects the interests of the three
states,” Abu Zeid said on Sunday.
He stressed that the
dam issue requires immediate action “in order to reach solutions
that preserve the interests of all.”
protests have been triggered by the country’s two biggest ethnic
groups Oromia and Amhara who say that they have for years been
marginalized by the government.
The country has
recently imposed a state of emergency and martial law in an
attempt to contain the unrest.
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 veteran President Hosni
When President Abdel-Fattah
al-Sisi took office in 2014, he showed understanding of
Ethiopia’s aspiration for development through the GERD that
would produce around 6,000 megawatts of electricity to the
On the other hand,
relations between Egypt and Sudan have been tense over the past
years on various issues including a territorial dispute over the
border region of Halayeb and Shalateen, which are currently
under Egyptian control.
delay of tripartite meeting on renaissance dam
KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) --
Sudan on Saturday announced delay of a tripartite
meeting on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that was
scheduled to be held in Khartoum during Feb. 24-25.
“In response to a
request by the Ethiopian side, a tripartite meeting on the GERD,
which was scheduled to be hosted by Khartoum at its technical
and ministerial levels during current Feb. 24-25, has been
decided to be postponed to a later date to be agreed on by the
three countries (Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia),” said Sudan’s
Foreign Ministry in a statement.
developments relating to the resignation of the Ethiopian Prime
Minister and the ongoing arrangements to appoint his successor
necessitated the Republic of Ethiopia to request the
postponement of the meetings until a new Prime Minister is
elected,” noted the statement.
On Feb. 15, the
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn turned in his
Ethiopian Council of Ministers declared a national state of
emergency following security challenges, unrest and protests
witnessed by the country.
Egypt fears that the
construction of the dam would affect its share in the Nile
water, while Ethiopia reiterated that the dam is likely to make
a shift in its wealth, namely in the field of electricity.
The GERD, extending
on an area of 1,800 square km, is scheduled to be completed in
three years at a cost of 4.7 billion U.S. dollars.