Final round of Nile dam talks end with no deal

(9 Jan 2020) The fourth and final round of talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Ethiopia’s construction of a controversial dam on the Nile River concluded on Thursday without an agreement.
The two days of negotiations between top officials from the three countries in Addis Ababa were hoped to reach agreements on technical issues related to the $4.6 billion dam that Ethiopia is building along the Nile, which flows into Sudan and Egypt.
Sileshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s Minister for Water and Energy, told reporters the Egyptian delegation had proposed a new timescale of 12 to 21 years for the filling of the dam, but this was an “unacceptable” suggestion.
“I don’t think the Egyptian delegation came here in the spirit of trying to reach an agreement when they came here to Addis Ababa for this meeting,” Bekele said.
Cairo wants the dam to be filled more slowly in order to reduce the restriction on the flow of the Nile through Egypt, which depends on the river for the irrigation of its agriculture.
The water and energy ministers from the three countries are next expected to meet in Washington DC on Monday to report on the progress they have made so far.

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