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Caution prevails amid anticipated resumption of Nile dam talks

Experts doubt the resumption of trilateral negotiations to resolve the Nile dam dispute will yield results amid Ethiopia’s intransigence to begin filling operations in July.

CAIRO — Since the prime ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia agreed May 21 to resume technical negotiations to look into a consensual formula to resolve the dispute over water storage and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the technical committees of the three countries have started arrangements to agree on an agenda and meeting date. But no results have been reached yet. Meanwhile, anticipation is rising, and there is increased caution about potential consensual solutions, with Ethiopia’s insistence on beginning the filling of the dam in July.

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had set a condition in a press statement May 21 that technical meetings shall resume based on the outcome of the Washington negotiations in February and shall be limited to agreement on the pending issues in the operation and filling of the GERD. The ministry underlined the importance of the seriousness and constructiveness of the scheduled meeting and of reaching a fair, comprehensive and balanced agreement.

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