The foreign ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan met in Khartoum last week and settled differences regarding the selection of a sub-consultant firm and timetable of technical meetings and studies.
Subsequently, an Egyptian media and a middle-eastern outlet claimed, citing officials in Cairo, a new agreement that bars water filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam has been signed. The claim was rejected by Ethiopian officials.
However, the statement from Egyptian foreign ministry by the end of the week appears modest.
Here is the statement released by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.
Results of Six-Party Khartoum Meeting on Renaissance Dam Comprise Important Step in implementation of Tripartite Declaration of Principles
Egypt Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said the six-party meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs and irrigation of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, which was held in Khartoum December 27th – 29th, is an important step on the path of implementation of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles that was signed by the leaders of the three countries in Khartoum in March 2015.
The spokesperson said that the talks were characterized by transparency and clarity with respect to the aspirations of each party and their concerns, and emphasized the commitment of the three countries to the full implementation of the Declaration of Principles in all its aspects. He added that this reflects the parties’ awareness of the importance of partnership and achieving common interests, a matter which is continuously confirmed by the leaders of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia during their periodic meetings.
The spokesperson also said that the agreement concerning the selection of consultancy firms to assess the effects of the dam and accelerate studies; the confirmation of Ethiopia’s commitment to the implementation of Article no. 5 in the Declaration of Principles, which requires reaching an agreement among the three countries on the rules of the first filling, the operation of the dam and the establishment of a mechanism coordination among them; and the agreement on the assignment of a technical committee to complete by early January a study of the Egyptian proposal to establish two additional low-level outlets in the dam, are considered positive and important steps on the path to deal seriously with Egyptian concerns aiming at maintaining Egypt’s water security.
The spokesperson concluded his remarks saying that the three parties agreed on the importance of continuing dialogue and meetings to provide for the momentum and political support required for the success of the tripartite technical committee and to confirm the importance of partnership, mutual gains and not harming any party, explaining that what was agreed upon is only the beginning, and that the three countries are required to exert more effort in the coming period to build more confidence, achieve development aspirations of the people of the three countries and protect their interests.