Sudan appeals AU to play bigger role in Ethiopia's Nile dam talks

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Publish Time: 2021-01-12 Author: From: Xinhua

KHARTOUM, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) - Sudan on Monday reiterated its adherence to the necessity of giving the African Union (AU) experts a bigger role in the negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Chairman of Sudan's Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on Monday met with ministers of foreign affairs and irrigation. During the meeting, Al-Burhan was briefed on the developments of tripartite talks among Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt on the dam as well as the reason behind the recent impasse, said the sovereign council in a statement.

Yasir Abbas, Sudan's irrigation and water resources minister, said following the meeting that Sudan supports the AU's role as a facilitator in the talks.

"During the last period, the talks were infeasible because the positions of the three countries diverged from the start. That's the reason why Sudan constantly insists that the AU should play its natural role in facilitating the negotiation process," Abbas added.

The minister also reiterated Sudan's belief that negotiation is the proper solution for the GERD issue through a fair deal for all parties.

On Sunday, the AU announced the failure of the latest round of talks. The Sudanese negotiators believed that the GERD talks should go beyond the level of irrigation ministers and involve the AU and the leaders of the three countries to provide the political will to bring their positions closer.

Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia have been holding talks for years over the technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the project, while Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for its freshwater, are concerned that the dam might affect their share of the water resources.

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