Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced the success of this week's mediation meeting regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations in Adis Ababa. The ministers of irrigation and water resources as well as the chiefs of intelligence services of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia participated in the May 15 meeting.
Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid tweeted May 16, saying, “Mediation meeting regarding the Renaissance Dam ended successfully in Adis Ababa. Waiting for the ministers’ signatures on the meeting’s output document.”
The document, later published by regional media, lists several points that the ministers agreed on:
- Regular tripartite meetings will be conducted between the three ministers of the countries.
- A tripartite fund will be established named the “Tripartite Infrastructure Fund”. The ministers will choose high state officials to work out the exact details of the fund. Egypt will host a high officials' meeting in Cairo between July 3 and 4 to discuss the exact steps towards establishing the fund.
- The three countries will jointly establish a National Independent Scientific Research Study Group, which according to the document will “discuss means of enhancing the levels of understanding and cooperation among the three countries with regard to the GERD.” This will mainly address “equitable and reasonable utilization of shared water resources while taking all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm.” This group will comprise 15 members; each country will nominate five, and will hold nine meetings, each lasting for three days. The meeting venues are set be held in rotation between the three countries.
- After three months of meetings, this group will present the result of their negotiations to their respective water ministers.
Ethiopia began constructing the $4.7 Billion USD dam in 2011. However, Egypt has been particularly critical of the dam’s construction, arguing that it will reduce its legitimate share of River Nile water access, and thus threaten its water security.