Egypt says final deal on Ethiopian dam to be signed by end of February

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-14 21:17:07|Editor: huaxia

CAIRO, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The final agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be concluded by the end of February, Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

"The final deal will be submitted by the U.S. side in cooperation with the World Bank to Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan within the coming few days in order to finalize and sign the agreement before the end of February," the statement said.

Negotiations on the rules regulating the filling and operation of GERD have been wrapped up in Washington, it added.

"The negotiations discussed the coordination mechanism among the three countries that would be responsible for following up the implementation of the deal on filling and operating the dam," according to the statement.

The talks also touched upon the items specifying technical data and information that shall be circulated to verify the implementation of the agreement.

The negotiations, sponsored by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, were attended by foreign and water ministers of the three countries and representatives of the World Bank.

The GERD that has been constructed since 2011 on the Blue Nile in the northern Ethiopia highlands is expected to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become Africa's largest hydropower dam upon completion.

However, Egyptian officials are concerned that filling the reservoir behind the dam too quickly could significantly reduce the amount of Nile water available to Egypt.

Ethiopia wants to fill the reservoir whose total capacity is 74 billion cubic meters in five to six years, while Egypt seeks to prolong the period to avoid the negative effects of water shortage, which is a main point of the talks.