Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry called on Tuesday for a tripartite meeting with Ethiopia and Sudan in a phone conversation with his Ethiopia counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu.
Shoukry congratulated the newly appointed Gebeyehu, before discussing bilateral interests between the two countries. Shoukry asserted the need to hold talks about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in order to discuss technical studies on the implications of the dam.
In March 2015, the three countries signed a declaration of principles whereby they agreed on the construction of the dam, but with technical studies to be conducted in order to guarantee that Egypt and Sudan’s share of the Nile water will not be affected.
Ethiopia previously said that it respects the results of the studies that will be conducted by the consultation offices; however, it is not obliged to abide by these results. The Ethiopian minister of information and communications said earlier in May that 70% of the dam has already been constructed. Also, the technical studies that will be conducted do not pertain to the construction process, but rather to the operation process.
Opponents of the dam have frequently said that Ethiopia has not provided sufficient proof that the dam will not affect Egypt’s 55bn cubic metre water quota. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zeid denied there were any disputes over the GERD, adding that bilateral relations between the two countries are not strained.