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Tenth day of negotiations for GERD but a zero sum and nothing new

By :Marwa Mahmoud

There is nothing new in tenth day of Renaissance Dam negotiations, which is currently being held under the auspices of the African Union and in the presence of irrigation ministers from the three countries and representatives of countries and observers, which aim to discuss the agreement to fill and operate the Renaissance Dam.

The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources stated that the ministers started a meeting today, Sunday, with a review of technical and legal committee’s discussions, which were held last Friday and in which Egypt put forward some alternative formulations to try to bring views of the contentious points closer together. In the technical and legal part, however, discussions reflected the persistence of disputes over key issues.

At the end of the meeting, it was agreed to complete the work of the technical and legal committees tomorrow, Monday, and then the ministerial meeting will be held, provided that at the end of meeting final report will be submitted to South Africa as the current president of the African Union.

Two days ago, the Egyptian Ministry announced that it had put forward some alternative formulations for understanding regarding procedures for dealing with protracted droughts and years that are scarce in revenue for both filling and operation, in addition to the annual operating and refilling rules.

However, Egypt  was surprised by the Ethiopian proposal to postpone the settlement of the contentious points in the current negotiation process, to be referred to the technical committee that will be formed under the agreement in order to follow up the implementation of the terms of the agreement, which Egypt rejected completly .

Irrigation Ministry stated that the contentious points that affect the Egyptian concerns cannot be referred to the technical committee for its decision later that is after the signing of the agreement.

The Egyptian Ministry expressed its hope that Ethiopia will deal positively with the Egyptian alternatives to reach satisfactory solutions.

It has mentioned that the Ministry of Irrigation has affirmed before Ethiopia’s continuous adherence to its strict positions regarding the technical and legal parts of the agreement, reduces the chances of reaching a comprehensive solution, because the contentious points represent the backbone of the technical and legal part of the agreement for Egypt.