ADDIS ABABA – Ministers of water resources of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan began on Wednesday their fourth meeting to find a solution to a dispute between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the Blue Nile.
“I hope for a successful end to that meeting,” Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy Seleshi Bekele tweeted before the beginning of the meeting, held in an Addis Ababa hotel.
“So far, we have addressed all the important problems, but until we reach an agreement everything is open. Ethiopia seeks the fair and reasonable use of the Nile and that everyone wins,” he added.
During his opening speech of the minister encouraged the participants to make the most of the fourth and final round of negotiations between the ministers and technical committees that started after mediation by the United States in November.
The political interference and indecision had negative impact on the negotiations in the past, the minister said.
He called for technical solutions to technical problems.
Cairo agrees on the basics of a deal, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty said during his speech.
Following the meeting, which will come to an end on Thursday, ministers of foreign affairs and water resources are scheduled to meet in Washington mid-January.
Egypt has been doing diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement on the dam, which it considers “a threat on the national security” because it could significantly reduce its share of the water.
Ethiopia began the construction of the dam in 2011 near the Sudanese border to guarantee water resources to the country of the Horn of Africa.
Addis Ababa also plans to export electricity to generate wealth and boost its development, and expects the work to be completed in 2023.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed in 2015 that the construction of the dam should not affect the economy, river flow and hydroelectric safety of any of the three coastal countries, but since then there have only been discrepancies.