Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia say talks on disputed dam deadlocked

Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia say talks on disputed dam deadlocked”

The ministry noted that Egypt affirmed its stance during the meeting to engage in negotiations and reach a legally binding agreement.

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shouky and Minister of Irrigation and Water Sources Mohamed Abdel-Ati participated in the video conference talks.

This new round of meetings comes under the presidency of South Africa, which now chairs the African Union, and aims to reach a binding agreement on the rules for filling and operating the Renaissance Dam.

Sudanese Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Mohammed Sharif met Friday with Ethiopian Ambassador Yibtalal Amero in Khartoum and agreed to prepare for a third round of talks between the two countries through the joint committee.

Pandor said she would refer the matter to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, current chairperson of the African Union, for necessary measures.

Sudan had already skipped the last meeting, according to an official statement released last week, in objection to not receiving a response to its demands of holding bilateral meetings between the AU experts participating in the negotiations and each of the three countries' representatives separately to discuss and identify points of differences, while continuing to hold trilateral meetings between the three countries' negotiating teams.

Meanwhile, Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas said Sudan can not continue with the negotiations without an agreement.

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Sudan's water and irrigation minister, Yasser Abbas, warned that Khartoum can not "continue this vicious cycle of indefinite talks".

Ethiopia said in a foreign ministry statement that despite previously insisting on meetings with the African Union experts, Sudan objected to their terms of reference and refused to include the experts in the meeting, effectively halting the talks.

The statement said that due to robust friendship ties between the Ethiopian and Sudanese governments, the issue of the common borders was historically handled amicably, noting that Sudan's move at the present time to cross the border and forcefully change the situation on the ground violates the agreement reached between the two countries, which is not accepted under global law.

The AU-mediated talks have been observed by representatives from the European Union, the USA, the AU, as well as legal and technical experts.

The prolonged dispute between the three countries has continued even after the reservoir behind the $4 billion dam began filling in July.

The Nile, the world's longest river, is a lifeline supplying both water and electricity to the 10 countries it traverses.

Sudan's Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas on Thursday has expressed "deep concern" over Ethiopia's announcement of plans to implement the second filling of the massive Renaissance Dam, SUNA reported.

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