Monday Briefing: GERD talks continue, but political will is still lacking

Source: Middle East Institute

Author(s): Mirette F. Mabrouk

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It’s never a good sign when negotiators differ on the desired outcomes of negotiations.

Last week, hours after an African Union (AU) sponsored summit on the filling and operations of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Ethiopia’s Water, Irrigation, and Energy Minister Seleshi Bekele had to walk back reports by a state-owned broadcaster suggesting the government had formally authorized the reservoir to be filled. Egypt and Sudan had asked that the filling not commence until an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam was in place. The media was flooded with satellite images of water pooling in the reservoir behind the dam, prompting calls for clarification from both Egypt and Sudan. Bekele insisted that it was merely due to the heavy rains.

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