Hot dam! Controversial Renaissance dam project talks stalled

Published September 10th, 2015 - 06:18 GMT

Egypt's irrigation minister Hossam Moghazi said on Wednesday that Cairo is set to host the next Ethiopia Renaissance Dam negotiations meeting that will include representatives from three concerned countries, state news-agency MENA reported.

The meeting will be attended by representatives from Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, as well as representatives of the French BRL and Dutch Deltares consultancy firms, which are studying the contentious issue of the impact of the under-construction dam on water share among the basin countries.

A date for the meeting was not announced.

Egypt hopes that the three involved parties would identify ongoing points of difference and reconcile their opinions in the meeting.

In press statements on Wednesday, Moghazi said that Egypt's irrigation ministry, which will represent Cairo at the meeting, is not the only authority responsible for the Dam issue, adding that other “national bodies” are involved as well.

President Abdel- Fattah El-Sisi is aware of all the details and technical aspects related to the negotiations, and that Egypt has several options, but will negotiate as El-Sisi decides, Moghazi said.

Earlier this week, Egypt expressed its concern after the two foreign consultancy firms failed to deliver their reports on 5 September to the tripartite committee which met in Addis Ababa.

They had also missed a deadline in August and forced the tripartite committee to re-schedule for 5 September.

It is not clear why the consultancy firms did not deliver their reports to the committee on time.

Egypt stressed last week that it is committed to the "declaration of principles" which Cairo signed with Sudan and Ethiopia in March 2015, which aims to meant  to safeguard the interests of all three countries.

Egypt is currently suffering from a water deficit of 20 billion cubic meters and compensates it through water recycling, a process that isn't advisable in the long run.

The dam, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic meters of water.  

© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House

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