Dam dispute: Egypt, Ethiopia to resume negotiations

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Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed have agreed to resume negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is under construction on the Nile.

The agreement was reached at their meeting, held in Russia’s Sochi, which currently hosts the inaugural Russia-Africa Summit.

An agreement has been reached at the meeting to immediately resume operation of the independent technical negotiating commission in a more open and positive format,” the representative said, as quoted by the Middle East News Agency.

The commission is tasked with making a final decision on the rules of dam launch and on its reservoir filling, the representative added.

The dam, which Ethiopia has been building since 2011, is expected to become fully operational by 2022.

The project is aimed at turning Ethiopia into Africa’s biggest electric power exporter.

Cairo has been concerned by the construction, fearing that the dam may affect Egypt’s share of water and seriously damage the national economy and agriculture.

The main issues being disputed are related to the volume of water to be released annually after the first stage of filling the reservoir.

Egypt proposes an annual release of 40 billion cubic meters (1.4 trillion cubic feet), while Ethiopia insists on 35 billion cubic meters.

The Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum is running in the Russian resort city of Sochi from Oct. 23 to Oct. 24.

The Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is an official media partner of the event.