AFRICANGLOBE – Officials from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Wednesday held an unannounced meeting to discuss a multibillion-dollar dam being built by Addis Ababa on the Nile River.
The tripartite meeting was held behind closed doors amid a total media blackout.
Along with experts from the three countries, Wednesday’s meeting was attended by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and Sudanese Irrigation Minister Moataz Moussa.
Ethiopia and Egypt are trying to narrow their differences over the dam project.
The two countries agreed to resume tripartite talks – along with downstream Sudan – after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met in Equatorial Guinea last summer.
Meetings of a tripartite technical committee, set up in 2011, resumed last August following an eight-month hiatus due to ongoing differences between Cairo and Addis Ababa.
Last September, the tripartite committee decided to hire research firms tasked with assessing the project’s anticipated trans-boundary and environmental impact.
Egypt fears the dam will negatively affect its “traditional share of water” from the Nile, its only source of water.
Ethiopia, for its part, says the project is indispensible to its own national development and the economic welfare of its burgeoning population.
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