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Sudan to host Nile basin countries for talks on Ethiopian dam

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December 5, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The water ministers in the eastern Nile Basin countries will hold a meeting in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum next Monday to discuss the implications of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam.

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The Blue Nile

The summit which brings together Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia is a continuation of a previous one held to agree on forming a joint mechanism to implement the recommendations of the International Panel of Experts.

The ministers agreed at the November meeting to convene again to resolve disagreements over the establishment of the mechanism.

The government sponsored Sudanese Media Center (SMC) website quoted an unnamed source as emphasizing the importance of the three countries committing to cooperate for the sake of peoples of the eastern Nile Basin nations and utilizing the available resources.

The source said it is crucial that the three countries emerge from next week’s meeting with a clear vision on the formation of a mechanism to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the International Panel of Experts despite the difficulty of the work and its complexity .

He underscored that the support of the states is required to implement and clarify the future course to follow the recommendations of the International Panel of Experts so as to build trust and promote cooperation among the three countries.

Egypt has long opposed the construction of the dam being built at Nile tributary saying that it will diminish the water supply to its soil.

Egypt argues that it does not have other alternative water sources unlike other Nile basin countries and insists the colonial-era agreement which gives Egypt the lion’s share of the waters shouldn’t be violated.

Addis Ababa however says its controversial dam project will not affect the water interest of the two downstream countries - Egypt and Sudan.

The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir formally announced yesterday his country’s support of the dam project during a visit by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

(ST)

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