İrem UZUN -TDO- Egypt has said it is willing to resume negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia over the filling of a controversial mega-dam that has been a source of tension between all three Nile basin countries. "Egypt is always ready to enter into negotiations and participate in upcoming meetings ... to reach a fair, balanced and comprehensive agreement," Egypt foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Egypt’s agreement of resuming the talks came after a virtual meeting held on Thursday between Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. During the meeting, it has been agreed that the three parties would “complete the remaining simple part of the agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as took place during the negotiation tracks over recent months”. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated on Thursday that he and Hamdouk have agreed to continue with technical level engagements through their Water Ministers tasked to discuss outstanding issues and arrive at win-win solutions. “I also reiterated the economic advantages of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) for all that we can seize through the spirit of collaboration,” he added.
Cairo sent a letter to the UN Security Council members on May 1. It stated all of the unsuccessful diplomatic efforts and paths taken regarding the dam in light of Ethiopia’s unilateral decision to fill the dam. In his response, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew accused Egypt of being “obstructionist”. "Ethiopia does not have a legal obligation to seek the approval of Egypt to fill the dam," Gedu said. Egypt wants Ethiopia to endorse a draft agreement emerging from the talks earlier this year facilitated by the U.S. Treasury Department. However, Ethiopia skipped the most recent round of those talks and denies any deal was agreed upon.