Egypt expects to reach tripartite deal over Ethiopian dam

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-31 21:05:52|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

CAIRO, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Thursday that Egypt is looking forward to signing a tripartite legal deal with Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue.

The three countries are scheduled to meet in Washington next month, the ministry said in a statement.

"Egypt has a political willingness to sign a legal deal on the GERD," Shoukry told the Arab Parliament meeting.

However, it is unclear if Ethiopia or Sudan will attend the U.S.-sponsored meeting, as Addis Ababa has not been positive about the possibility of a mediation attempt.

The GERD is a dam on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia, which has been under construction since 2011.

Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for its fresh water, is concerned that the construction of the GERD might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the river water.

GERD is expected to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become the largest hydropower dam in Africa upon completion.

Shoukry explained that currently "each Egyptian citizen receives 570 cubic meter of water annually and that share will be declined to 500 cubic meters by 2020 which will put Egypt in the line of the countries that suffers water poverty."

Ethiopia said the filling process of the dam will start in 2020.