Key Ethiopia Dam Talks to Begin in Cairo on October 15

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The upcoming round of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is the most important yet, Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi has said.

Moghazi told state news agency MENA that the tripartite technical commission will select one from nine consultancy firms – three from each country – to conduct studies into the impact of the dam as required by the international technical panel in May 2013.

A panel of specialists, including several international experts, concluded in May 2013 that studies to assess the dam’s impact on the flow of the Nile were insufficient and that further investigations were needed.

The second stage of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia about the dam will be held next Thursday and Friday in Cairo.

According to Moghazi, if the meetings in Cairo end without selecting a consultancy firm, the tripartite technical commission composed of 12 experts will have another two weeks to sort out that the matter.

Moghazi also said the committee would choose an international law firm to represent Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in negotiations with the consultancy firm regarding financial and administrative matters, hinting the financial costs will be divided equally between the three countries.

The minister added that the chosen consultancy firm should finish its studies within five months, before March 2015.

Egypt has concerns that the $4.2 billion dam currently under construction will affect negatively its water supply.

Ethiopia and other Nile Basin countries signed a 2010 pact to work on river projects without Cairo’s prior consent, claiming that Egypt’s claims to the bulk of the Nile water are invalid.

Source: Ahram Online