In November of last year delegations from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia met in Cairo to approve a study by a French firm tasked with assessing the environmental and economic impact of the dam on downstream countries. But negotiations stalled. Now FM Shoukry will fly to Khartoum for talks with Sudanese and Ethiopian officials aimed at resolving the impasse over the hydroelectric dam Addis Ababa is building on a Nile tributary. Cairo fears that the dam will reduce the supply of Nile water. Ethiopia, which is the only one financing the dam, affirms that the project will not harm Egypt, while Sudan underlined that it will provide the country with energy and irrigation.
In an official statement the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Soukry announced his participation at the sixth meeting of the Egyptian-Ethiopian Higher Committee after three years of impasse. The talks will discuss the bilateral economic, social and artistic relations, and also regional and international developments. In addition the foreign ministers of the two countries will set the encounter between the President El-Sisi and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. In recent years there have been strained tensions within the relation between Egypt and Ethiopia, because of the Grand Renaissance Dam. It is a situation of concern to Egypt despite assurance from Ethiopia that the dam will not damage the other counties.
The Ethiopian ambassador to Egypt Taye Stke-Selassie Amde had a meeting with the Egyptian foreign minister and he said that Sameh Shoukry will meet his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu in January to discuss about the deadlock of the tripartite technical committee of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the possible effects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). This meeting confirms the Egyptian efforts to break the current deadlock and solve the disagreements between the three states. In November the negotiations broke down, in fact Egypt approved the European consultancy firms’ report while Sudan and Ethiopia rejected it, demanding major amendments to the technical studies. He stressed that his country is concerned due to the delay in the adoption of the proposed studies, adding that it has the desire to build trust with the others, preserving the Egyptian water interests. The talks between the two minister aims to prepare the upcoming visit of the Ethiopian prime minister Desalegn to Egypt in January.