İrem UZUN -TDO- The water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan failed on Wednesday to agree on a methodology for completing their negotiations over Ethiopia’s giant Nile River dam in the coming stage, said the Egyptian water ministry in a statement.  “It turned out during the discussions that the three countries disagree on the methodology for completing the negotiations in the next stage,” said Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. 

The three ministers held a virtual meeting earlier in the day to discuss the optimal framework for managing the ongoing negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which are held under the auspices of the African Union (AU).  The three countries agreed that each will submit a report to South Africa, the current chair of the AU, over the details of their meetings, according to the statement.  The reports will also include their visions on ways to implement the outcomes of two former summit meetings of the AU Bureau in June and July, which stated that the three countries would conclude a binding legal agreement on the rules of filling and operating the GERD.

Construction for $4bn (GERD) began in 2011 and has suffered several delays.  Ethiopia sees the dam as critical to its efforts to industrialize and to fight poverty.  The U.S. announced last month it was suspending a portion of its financial aid for Ethiopia, citing a lack of progress in talks and Ethiopia’s "unilateral decision" to start filling the dam's reservoir.  Sudan and Egypt have long called for a political solution to the dispute, rejecting any unilateral action by Ethiopia.

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