Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi will meet in Cairo on Sunday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to discuss regional issues namely Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which Ethiopia is building and Cairo fears its effects on its share of the Nile waters.
Egyptian Presidency Spokesperson Bassam Radi announced in a statement that Prime Minister Ahmed will arrive in Cairo in a two-day visit, during which he will discuss with President Sisi the bilateral relations and the potential negative impacts of GERD on the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan.
Ethiopian Prime Minister will hold the bilateral meeting with Sisi on Sunday at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Radi added, noting that a joint press conference will be held following the both leaders’ meeting.
Ethiopian embassy in Cairo confirmed the visit and said that the prime minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation. The two leaders will hold bilateral talks to discuss issues of common concern.
The two downstream states, Egypt and Sudan, and the upstream state, Ethiopia, are negotiating in an effort to avoid damaging Egypt’s share of the Nile water (55.5 billion cubic meters).
In September 2016, the three states, along with two French offices, carried out technical studies to determine the social, environmental and economic impacts of the construction of the Ethiopian dam.
Ethiopian Minister of Irrigation and Electricity Salehi Bekele arrived in Cairo, heading a delegation from Addis Ababa on a visit to Egypt for several days.
The three countries involved in GERD, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, increased their meetings before launching a new round of negotiations for their officials such as heads of intelligence and ministers of foreign affairs and irrigation scheduled for June 18 in Cairo.
Last month, Egypt announced the success of the meeting on GERD hosted by Ethiopia. The two countries, together with Sudan, agreed to form a new scientific research committee to support the level of understanding and cooperation, including discussing and developing several scenarios related to filling and operating rules for dam, in accordance with the principle of fair and equitable use of shared water resources.
Egypt’s total water resources are estimated at 79 billion cubic meters of water obtained from the Nile, rain and groundwater, with actual consumption exceeding 110 billion cubic meters of water.
The nine officials agreed to give the scientific research committee a period of three months, to end on August 15, to present the results of its consultations for consideration by the three countries’ irrigation ministers.
The meeting was preceded by an agreement to hold a tripartite summit every six months, establish a joint investment fund, form an independent scientific group to achieve rapprochement on the dam and emphasize the Declaration of Principles on GERD signed in Khartoum between Egyptian President, his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir and former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Source: ASHARQ AL-AWSAT