KHARTOUM, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Sudan on Sunday urged Egypt and Ethiopia to return to negotiations to reach a deal regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
"Sudan calls on Egypt and Ethiopia to return to the negotiations to reach a satisfactory agreement, and renews its call for them to refrain from whatever may negatively affect the negotiation process," said Sudan's Foreign Ministry in a statement on Sunday.
The statement reiterated Sudan's keenness to make the GERD talks successful for the interests of the three countries.
Meanwhile, the statement explained Sudan's reservation over a draft resolution by the Arab League's Council of Foreign Ministers on March 4.
"Sudan expressed reservation on the draft resolution regarding the GERD, which was submitted by Egypt to the ministerial council, because Sudan has not been consulted with and the draft resolution does not serve the spirit of the on-going dialogue and negotiation," said the statement.
On Feb. 29, during a meeting held in Washington and which was not attended by Ethiopia, Egypt inked an agreement drafted by the U.S. regarding rules for filling and operating the GERD, saying that the agreement preserves Egypt's water interests and ensures they will not be seriously harmed.
Later, Ethiopia announced objection to the draft deal and criticized a statement by Washington calling for not to begin the process of filling the GERD before a tripartite deal is reached.
Ethiopia started building the GERD in 2011, while Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for its fresh water, is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the water resources of the river.
The GERD, extending on an area of 1,800 square km, is scheduled to be completed in three years at a cost of 4.7 billion U.S. dollars.