Ethiopia and Egypt are set to resume negotiations over the filling and operation of the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to a joint statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
The statement indicates that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who met in Cairo, agreed to expedite negotiations with the goal of finalizing a GERD agreement within the next four months.
Prime Minister Abiy also pledged that Ethiopia will fill the dam in the 2023/24 hydrological year without causing significant harm to Egypt and Sudan, while providing water needs for both countries.
The dam, currently under construction on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, is viewed as an important source of cheap, renewable power by Ethiopia but also seen as an existential threat in Egypt due to its reliance on the Nile River for freshwater.
According to the statement, President El-Sisi and Prime Minister Abiy reiterated their mutual political will to strengthen bilateral cooperation across political, economic and cultural spheres. They see this as contributing to regional peace, security and stability, as well as helping both nations deal with common challenges.