April 5, 2018 – Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have failed to agree over the impact of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the water share of downstream countries.
“Since the morning we discussed many issues but in the end, we could not reach a consensus,” Sudan foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour told reporters on Thursday evening at the end of the meeting of a tripartite committee.
“Although I can say that the discussion was constructive, comprehensive and important and we could have come out of it with answers to many questions, but this is the case of controversial issues often need patience, and will,” he added.
The Sudanese top diplomat added that the will and patience where there ” but we needed more time to reach consensus”.
The tripartite body was formed after a meeting including Presidents Omer al-Bashir, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on 29 January.
It includes foreign ministers irrigation ministers and head of the security and intelligence agencies of the three countries.
Ghandour said that the irrigation ministers will discuss the outstanding issues in a meeting to be determined at a later date. The foreign ministers and head of security agencies will join them when they make progress on the technical issues.
However, he declined to elaborate on the outstanding issues when asked about that.
In March 2015, the three leaders signed in Khartoum a framework cooperation deal on the GERD. They said the “declaration of principles” would pave the way for further diplomatic cooperation on the GERD which has stirred fears of a regional resource conflict.
However, the three countries have failed to agree on the findings of the technical report related to the impact of the dam prepared by consultant companies, French firms BRL and Artelia.
Also, Cairo proposed to refer the matter to the World Bank, but Addis Ababa refused the Egyptian proposal.