US says Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan reaffirm joint efforts to reach deal on dam

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The foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed on Wednesday to work toward a comprehensive and sustainable agreement on the filling and operation of a massive dam project in Ethiopia by January 15, 2020, the US Treasury said.

“The ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to reach a comprehensive, cooperative, adaptive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and to establish a clear process for fulfilling that commitment in accordance with the 2015 Declaration of Principles,” the statement read.

The $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was announced in early 2011, as Egypt was in political upheaval following a popular uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

The dam is the centerpiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, with a projected capacity of more than 6,000 megawatts.

Ethiopia has said it will start filling the reservoir behind the dam in 2020, though construction has been hit by delays.

- With Reuters.

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