Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt on Wednesday discussed the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) but no agreement was reached on a mechanism for the long-term operation.
The Sudanese irrigation ministry said that the parties discussed the annual releases for Egypt in the first technical meeting, a statement cited by Sudanese daily the Sudan Tribune said.
Cairo stuck to a US proposal, which Ethiopia declined, made in February this year to narrow the gaps between two countries, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Egypt rejected Ethiopia’s proposal on the amount of water that Addis Abba would release annually.
The US proposal includes rules for filling and operating the dam in Ethiopia. He also warned Ethiopia from filling the dam before an agreement is reached.
The Sudanese government has also warned against filling the reservoir of the dam before reaching an agreement between the three countries involved in the dam issue.
On Tuesday, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi strongly rebuked Ethiopia, accusing Addis Ababa of stalling negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and moving ahead with plans to start filling the reservoir before reaching a deal.
“A timeline must be set to finish up negotiations, so it does not turn into a new tactic of stalling and shirking responsibility from the 2015 Declaration of Principles which all three countries agreed to,” Sisi’s office said in a statement.
The agreement signed by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan paved the way for diplomatic talks after Addis Ababa began construction of the dam nearly a decade ago.
The strongly-worded statement from Sisi’s office said Ethiopia’s position was “inconsistent” with its legal obligations and “casts a shadow over the negotiations”.
It came on the day the three countries resumed talks, after Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok coaxed Egypt and Ethiopia to resume negotiations to resolve their differences.
But Egypt said the invite “comes three weeks too late” as Ethiopian authorities had already “signalled their intention to move forward with filling the reservoir of the Renaissance Dam without reaching an agreement”.