Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan agree to dam filling studies

Egyptian fM

Photo credit: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri.

However, Addis Ababa assured none of that would happen, while defending the need to build the dam to bring electricity to almost 60 million Ethiopians who lack it.

Ahmed Abu Zeid, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has announced the success of the mediation meeting regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi hailing the "breakthrough".

The meeting, which ended Wednesday dawn, ended on a "positive note", said Ethiopia's Minister of Energy, Irrigation and Electricity, Sileshi Bekele.

The final document is expected to be presented for approval by the leaders of the three countries, who during their meeting on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa last January made a decision to convene this latest meeting.

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Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to create a scientific committee dedicated to the mega-dam built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, thus ending months of deadlock on their discussions.

According to Egyptian local media, the country depends on water from the Nile water for drinking and irrigation purposes. Egypt has criticised the dam's construction, which Ethiopia has been undertaking since 2011, arguing that it will reduce the country's access to the river's water - something it considers a historical, legitimate right.

Accordingly, a team of five individuals from each country will be established to study the filling and operating of the dam, whose construction by Ethiopia is reported to be in the final stages.

Global agreements signed in 1929 and 1959, Egypt is guaranteed to 87% of the Nile waters. Ethiopia has stressed that it does not intend to harm Egypt, and "that Egypt's share [of water] will not be affected".

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