Nile dam talks hailed as success

Egyptian, Ethiopian and Sudanese water ministers met to discuss the highly debated Grand Renaissance dam project

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Water ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on Monday “successfully” held talks on an Ethiopian dam project on Monday, after Egypt's objections delayed formation of a committee to implement expert advice.

“We have addressed a significant part of the issues on the follow-up of the implementation of the recommendations of the international panel of experts,” Sudan's Water Resources and Electricity Minister, Muattaz Musa Abdallah Salim, said in a brief statement to reporters, adding that the talks were a success.

Egypt has raised concerns over the Grand Renaissance dam project, saying it could diminish its water supply.

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti said earlier that ministers from the three nations failed to agree during a meeting last month on the composition of the committee which would follow through on expert recommendations.

The experts' report has not been made public, but Ethiopia has said it confirms that the impact on water levels is minimal.

Cairo had sought more studies about the dam's effect on its water supply, which is almost entirely dependent on the Nile.

Egypt wanted international representatives on the committee but Ethiopia preferred national delegates, Karti said after the ministers' first meeting in early November.

“We the ministers... have concluded the second meeting successfully,” Salim said.

Asked whether that meant the differences over the committee had been resolved, Ethiopian minister Alemayehu Tegenu told AFP: “Almost, yes.”

Sudan's minister Salim said “the remaining issues” would be addressed in Khartoum during talks from Jan. 4-5.

(With AFP)

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