Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are holding secret talks mediated by the United Arab Emirates on the filing and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The three countries disagree over the filling of the GERD reservoir, which began in July 2020. Sudan says it wants a technical agreement over the filling and release of water to protect its dams on the Blue Nile while Egypt fears for its share of water.
The filling will take between 4 and 7 years, depending on hydrologic conditions during the filling period. The second phase of filling was completed on 19 July 2021, without the agreement with the downstream countries.
Khartoum based newspaper Elaf, on Thursday, citing diplomatic sources, reported that delegations from Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia at the level of heads of technical committees are holding talks in Abu Dhabi under Emirati auspices to settle points of disagreement between them.
According to the newspaper, the sources declined to provide further details about the talks.
In March 2021, the UAE proposed a road map providing to sign a Declaration on Future Comprehensive Agreement on the Blue Nile, which is not part of the 2015 declaration of principle and to start talks from the scratch.
The United Arab Emirates, which has good relations and significant investments in Ethiopia, think they can narrow the gaps between the three countries. Also, the Gulf country ambitions to establish agricultural projects in eastern Sudan, after the settlement of the GERD and border disputes between Sudan and Ethiopia.