East Africa: First Trilateral Meeting On GERD With WB, U.S. Observers in Attendance Concluded

The 4th meeting of the water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was concluded in Addis Abeba. The meeting held on the 15th and 16th of November is the first to be attended by representatives of the World Bank and the US government.

The three countries have agreed to include the US and World Bank representatives to attend the trilateral technical meetings as observers during the dialogue hosted by the US treasury department in in Washington D.c. on November 06.

"Our trilateral meeting on GERD filling and operation ended 16th Nov 2019 evening. It progressed well, surmounting previous obstacles. We have organized our agreeable and yet to be resolved issues of the three countries in one document, signed minutes, and communicated jointly," tweeted Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia's minister of water, Irrigation and energy. "Major areas covered include basis, principles, filling the dam in stages, operation under normal and extreme conditions, coordination mechanism and ecosystem functions all topics with multiple negotiation points."

Accordigly, the meeting dealt with agenda set by the 3rd meeting of water ministers and experts of the three countries in Khartoum on the filling and operation of the dam, the ministry of foreign affairs of Ethiopia said, adding agreement has been reached on some issues while others are set to be resolved in the next meeting.

Both Dr Seleshi and the ministry did not specifically mention the points agreed up on and pending.

The water ministers signed minutes of the meeting and are set to convene in Cairo on the 2nd and 3rd of December, 2019.

A joint statement released after the D.C. dialogue on November 06 stated that, "the Foreign Ministers noted their agreement to hold four technical governmental meetings at the level of water ministers... . The ministers also agreed to work toward completion of an agreement by January 15, 2020, and would attend two meetings in Washington, D.C. on December 9 [2019] and January 13, 2020, to assess and support progress." AS

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