Egypt's FM heads to Washington for U.S.-sponsored Nile dam talks

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Publish Time: 2019-11-04 Author: From: Xinhua

CAIRO, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Sunday headed to Washington for U.S.-brokered talks over the controversial dam constructed by Ethiopia on their shared Nile River, Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Slated for Nov. 6, the meeting will gather the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and will be attended by the World Bank.

Ethiopia started building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011, while Egypt is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the river water.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that the anticipated meeting in Washington "aims at discussing the Renaissance Dam issue."

Sudan, a downstream Nile Basin country, eyes future benefits of the construction of upstream Ethiopia's GERD, despite the concerns of fellow downstream Egypt.

Egypt said in October that recent negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan over the GERD reached a deadlock, calling for international mediation.

Later in October, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met in Russia and agreed to resume the work of the technical committee studying the processes of filling and operating the dam.

Filling the reservoir, whose total capacity is 74 billion cubic meters, may take several years. While Ethiopia asked to fill it in five-six years, Egypt seeks to prolong the period to avoid the negative effects of water shortage, which is a main point of their talks.

The GERD is expected to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity and to be Africa's largest hydropower dam upon completion.

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