Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the United States has said that a technical committee from Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan has not been able to co-produce a document that could lead to agreement on the controversial Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam.
The ministers of foreign affairs and water affairs from the three countries held talks in January with their legal and technical experts in Washington DC with the US government and the World Bank are acting as observers.
It is understood that representatives of the countries have reached consensus on dam filling and release of water during the drought, years of prolonged drought and years of dry seasons.
The ministers of the countries also signed a memorandum of understanding, directing technical and legal teams to formulate a final treaty document by the end of February.
The foreign and water ministers returned to their respective countries in January, but technical and water experts continued meeting for a further week.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is attending the new meetings in Washington 12-13 February, and Ethiopia’s Minister for Water, Irrigation and Energy, Sileshi Bekele has returned to Washington this week as scheduled, but Ethiopia's Foreign Affairs Minister, Gedu Andargachew has not gone to the US on this occasion.
Sileshi has reviewed the outcome of the legal negotiations with the delegates of Egypt and Sudan. The Ethiopia delegation also discussed the issue of water conservation and drought mitigation issues but said on its Facebook page that it had not been able to develop a document to reach an agreement.
Negotiations between the three countries had been hoped to be completed by mid-January, but closure is now not anticipated until the end of February.