Sudan: Ethiopia offers to share details on GERD filling

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KHARTOUM, Sudan 

Sudan said Saturday it has received an Ethiopian offer to share details on the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“Ethiopia has offered to notify Sudan of the details of the second filling of the dam,” an official with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.

The official said the Ethiopian offer came amid preparations by Addis Ababa to store 1.6 billion cubic meters of water as a test of the dam gates before the planned filling in July.

“It is clear that the Ethiopian offer is an attempt to ease Sudanese, regional and international pressure on Addis Ababa,” said the official, who is a member of the Sudanese negotiation team on the GERD.

The official downplayed the importance of the Ethiopian offer in the absence of a binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD.

It remains unclear whether Khartoum has officially responded to the Ethiopian offer.

There was no comment yet from Ethiopian authorities on the report.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has earlier warned Ethiopia against causing any harm to Egypt’s water share by the GERD.

While Ethiopia says the GERD is key to electricity generation and economic development, Egypt fears that the dam project will imperil its water share from the Nile, the country’s only source of freshwater. Sudan, meanwhile, is worried that filling the GERD without an agreement with downstream countries will affect the safety of its own dams.

Years of negotiations between the three countries have failed to make a breakthrough on reaching an agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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