Sudan dismisses Egypt's Nile row claims

Thursday May 10 2018

Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Guba in the northwest of Ethiopia has led to tensions, especially with Egypt that worries about its share in Nile water. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Sudan has dismissed Egypt's accusations that it was obstructing the technical consultations on the River Nile waters.

Egyptian Foreign minister Sameh Shokry had accused Sudan and Ethiopia of failure to give the controversial Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) due attention during their meeting in Khartoum last week.

However, the Sudanese Water Resources and Irrigation ministry denied the accusations and warned that they could hinder the positive atmosphere that was being created between Khartoum and Addis Ababa.

“We regret the Egyptian minister's speech that contradicted the recent positive atmosphere between the two countries,” the ministry statement reads.

The confidence

“We do believe that such unnecessary speeches could destabilise the confidence between the two sides and create hostilities between the two nations.”

Mr Shokry accused Sudan and Ethiopia of lack of commitment to the GERD technical talks.

The ministers of the three countries recently failed to achieve a breakthrough in the technical talks as they deliberated the preliminary study presented by a French consultancy firm.

“The talks have been deadlocked for more than a year due to the continued reservation expressed by Sudan and Ethiopia about the preliminary report of the French firm,” the Egyptian top diplomat stated.

But the Sudanese ministry statement stated that Khartoum had exerted tireless efforts to bridge the gaps between Ethiopia and Egypt, stressing that the country was committed to the harmony between the three states.

“It is Egypt, not Sudan, that has delayed the meeting with the consultant French firm since last November,” it added.

Following their meeting last week, Sudan and Ethiopia stressed that GERD would not cause any harm to Sudan or Egypt.

A breakthrough

They said that all the studies showed that the water quotas of Sudan and Egypt would not be affected by the Ethiopian dam.

The three countries last month failed to achieve a breakthrough over the GERD disputes, despite a 15-hour meeting between their foreign and water ministers.

The Khartoum and Cairo relations have witnessed a deterioration in the recent past over many issues, including GERD, the border and support to rebels.