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Besides, Ethiopia is overwhelming the negotiations with details to distract focus from the main agenda or goal behind them and to debilitate Egypt and Sudan and leave them with no choice but to withdraw from the negotiations. The dam spans the Nile’s mightiest tributary — the Blue Nile, or Abay, as it is known to Ethiopians. Amid the stalled negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Egypt gives priority to winning over Sudan in the dam crisis. A new round of meetings between the Nile Basin countries has resumed as Sudan and Egypt try to unite on controlling damage from the Ethiopian dam. A general view of the Blue Nile River as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, near Guba in Ethiopia, Dec. 26, 2019. A successful agreement would be comprehensive and binding, cover all the technical and legal aspects of both storage and operation of the dam and avoid harming Sudanese and Egyptian interests, as well as set clear mechanisms to resolve disputes and coordinate joint water management. Chief among these was the GERD. Amani al-Taweel, director of the African program at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, refused to link any of Egypt's behavior toward Sudan to the GERD issue. A general view of the Blue Nile River as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, near Guba in Ethiopia, Dec. 26, 2019. It creates new obstacles during each round of negotiations then calls for their resolution, only to disagree later over the procedural dimensions of the suggested solutions. The ability of Egypt and Sudan to hold all the parties to the outcome of the negotiations depends on the success of these negotiations. Rakha Hassan, a member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, concurred. But this Egyptian-Sudanese cooperation started to fade in light of the policies adopted by the ousted Sudanese regime headed by Omar al-Bashir, who mirrored the Ethiopian policy. Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. He continued that Sudan’s recent position has begun to shift toward the Egyptian position vis-a-vis the GERD and stressed the need to reach a binding legal agreement regarding the dam. © 2020 Al-Monitor, LLC. But since the fall of Bashir, Sudan has been expressing stances closer to Egypt. Plus get access to seven years of our archives. All rights reserved. The current round of negotiations is expected to continue until Aug. 28 and a joint proposal is to be presented to South African President Cyrille Ramaphosa. The statement read, “It has been agreed to continue negotiations to reach a binding agreement about filling and operating the dam. Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images. The Aug. 18 final joint statement said that Egypt and Sudan had agreed on the need for the GERD negotiations to reach a binding agreement on filling and operating the dam in a way that preserves the rights and interests of the three countries. As a result, Ethiopia and Sudan had similar stances and defended the GERD during the negotiation talks at their onset in 2011. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Your Privacy Controls. During a meeting between the foreign and water ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia Aug. 16, it was decided to resume technical negotiations Aug. 18, when each state submitted its own proposal for a unified agreement on the dam’s filling and operation. Madbouly said during a Cabinet meeting in the city of el-Alamein in western Egypt Aug. 19 that there is consensus in the Egyptian and Sudanese positions regarding the GERD, and that there is an Egyptian interest in strengthening relations with the Sudanese people, as well as a clear Sudanese interest in attracting Egyptian investors. Al-Monitor - Intelligence on the trends shaping the Middle East. They agreed to choose a technical and legal representative from each country to compile the proposals submitted by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, with the participation of observers from the World Bank, the United States, the European Union and the AU. Add to this the Egypt-Sudan electricity interconnection project. He said that Egypt takes an interest in consolidating Egyptian-Sudanese relations because the two sides represent a strategic depth for the other, and because Sudan is an important crossing point for the Nile waters toward Egypt. The link to reset the password will be sent to your email address. Its stances have proven that its main goal behind the GERD is water hegemony over the Blue Nile, as a prelude to strategic hegemony over the Horn of Africa and the Nile Basin.”, Raslan added, “Ethiopia adopted a negotiation strategy in the past years that still stands. He told Al-Monitor over the phone that the existence of a consensus between the Egyptian and Sudanese positions regarding the GERD would create a strong front during the current negotiations between the three countries. Here's what you can now access. Plus get access to seven years of our archives. Heavy rains in August caused massive floods in Sudan, leading to the death of more than 36 people and the destruction of dozens of villages, while thousands of Sudanese families have been displaced. "Egypt is always keen on joint cooperation with Sudan regardless of the differences," Hassan added. Ethiopia’s prime minister said on Tuesday his country, Egypt, and Sudan reached a “major common understanding which paves the way for a breakthrough agreement” on a significant dam … Out of the total annual flow of the Nile, measured at Egypt’s Aswan Dam as 84 billion cubic metres, Egypt takes 66% of the water and Sudan 22%, and the remaining 12% goes to evaporation. Hani Raslan, an adviser at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, told Al-Monitor, “Ethiopia does not want any agreement that binds it on how to use the water. CAIRO — During Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly's Aug. 15 visit to Khartoum, Egypt and Sudan resumed cooperation on getting Ethiopia to sign a comprehensive and binding agreement setting the rules for filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The upstream Nile countries signed the agreement without the approval of Egypt and Sudan, who froze their membership in the Nile Basin Initiative in June 2010. READ MORE Ethiopia/Egypt/Sudan: Trust, linkage, and cooperation can end dam dispute. Hagar Hosny | Water Issues | Oct 13, 2020, A correspondent in Egypt | Tourism | Oct 14, 2020, Mohamed Saied | Water Issues | Oct 11, 2020, Muhammed Magdy | Water Issues | Oct 6, 2020, Ethiopia's unilateral filling of the GERD, Sudan Center for Strategic and Policy Studies. Tarek Fahmy, professor of political science at Cairo University, told Al-Monitor, “What Egypt is currently doing is part of its strategy to support Sudan in the north and south. You’re now subscribed to Al-Monitor. Ethiopia… All rights reserved. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. Sign up for the Week in Review newsletter. The second round of GERD negotiations sponsored by the African Union were suspended Aug. 10. Here's what you can now access. Egypt and Sudan sent letters Aug. 5 to South Africa, which heads the AU, expressing their rejection of Ethiopia's unilateral filling of the GERD. As for the economic aspect, the volume of Egyptian investments in the Sudanese market is estimated at $10.1 billion, according to 2017 statistics by the Egyptian State Information Service. Mohamed Saied | Water Issues | Oct 11, 2020, Muhammed Magdy | Water Issues | Oct 6, 2020, George Mikhail | Water Issues | Oct 2, 2020, Rasha Mahmoud | Water Issues | Sep 29, 2020, Hagar Hosny | Water Issues | Oct 13, 2020, A correspondent in Egypt | Tourism | Oct 14, 2020, Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. Fahmy added that Sudan is currently beginning to show compatibility with the Egyptian position in light of its direct interests, and because the Sudanese side is well aware that Egypt is a country that can provide assistance not only in the medical field but in other fields as well. Fahmy noted that Sudan’s position vis-a-vis the GERD during the transitional phase that followed the fall of the regime of President Omar al-Bashir at the end of 2018 was supportive of Ethiopia given Ethiopian promises to Sudan at the time. Egyptian-Sudanese coordination on the Nile water affair is not new. CAIRO — Based on the directives of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and as an attempt on Egypt’s part to show solidarity with the Sudanese people, Egypt sent Aug. 18 a medical aid shipment to those affected by the floods in Sudan. An Aug. 15 Egyptian-Sudanese statement following the discussions between Madbouly and his Sudanese counterpart, Abdullah Hamdouk, outlined conditions for the resumption of negotiations with Ethiopia. On the political level, there are several joint dossiers, the most prominent of which is the Nile water, security and stability in the Red Sea Basin and the Horn of Africa, and the fight against terrorism and extremism. Egypt Ethiopia Dam Dispute FILE - This June 28, 2013 file photo, shows construction work at the site of the planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam near Assosa in … Egypt lends helping hand to Sudan amid Nile dam talks Amid the stalled negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Egypt gives priority to winning over Sudan in the dam crisis. The real fear, particularly for Egypt and Sudan, is the project will cut their historic dependence on their share of Nile water. During the visit, Madbouly and his Sudanese counterpart Abdalla Hamdok held bilateral talks during which they agreed to enhance trade exchange between the two countries and develop a plan of action to overcome obstacles hindering the flow of commercial traffic, especially transport routes leading to land ports, in addition to develop cooperation in the field of investment and transportation. CAIRO — During Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly's Aug. 15 visit to Khartoum, Egypt and Sudan resumed cooperation on getting Ethiopia to sign a comprehensive and binding agreement setting the rules for filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). “I hope that Sudan will maintain its position so that the African Union — headed by South Africa — can solve the problem before the end of its current session in February,” he said. This was confirmed by the recent Egyptian delegations’ visits to North and South Sudan.”. On Aug. 12, head of Egypt's General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel and Minister of Health Hala Zayed, accompanied by a number of officials, inaugurated the new Egyptian Medical Center in the capital Juba, South Sudan. It continued that no unilateral measures shall be taken before reaching a satisfactory agreement for the three parties. Al-Monitor - Intelligence on the trends shaping the Middle East. Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan failed to strike a deal on the operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam before Ethiopia began filling the reservoir behind the dam in July. Egypt’s water security is a fundamental concern, but Egyptian-Sudanese relations are not limited to politics and they date to the 1970s, he said. The floods have also caused landslides that damaged around 5,000 homes and infrastructure in 14 of the 18 Sudanese states.

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