By Nesru Jemal, 5 November 2013
Photo: AlstomSudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on Monday reiterated commitment to joint coordination and constructive dialogue to reach consensus on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam according to recommendations by an international panel that groups experts from the three countries.
A meeting for the ministers of water resources of the eastern Nile Basin countries, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, started in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Monday to reactivate and follow up the implementation of the recommendations of the International Panel-of-Experts (IPOE), tasked with assessing the impacts of the Ethiopian dam on the two countries of the Nile Basin mainstream (Sudan and Egypt).
Sudan's Minister of Water Resources and Electricity Osama Abdallah said that "this meeting comes at a historical phase of the cooperation among our countries and communities as today we are looking into how to implement the recommendations of the IPOE on the renaissance dam."
"The peoples of the eastern Nile Basin countries are looking forward for further fruitful and constructive cooperation for better exploitation of the water resources in the eastern basin for the prosperity of their peoples," he added.
He reiterated Sudan's commitment to seriously and fully cooperate with the Nile Basin countries, saying "We hope our efforts would lead to reaching the suitable mechanisms that enable us to press ahead with the implementation of the IPOE recommendations."
Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdul Muttalib said that "It is high time to consider a new strategy in order to attain the best opportunity for the best interest of our children and future generations."
The Egyptian minister further reiterated that cooperation and coordination are the best ways for achieving the desired development goals of the Nile Basin Region, expressing hope that the outcomes of the meeting would provide a concrete ground to start a new era of cooperation among the three countries.
Ethiopian Water and Energy Minister Almayehu Tegenu said "The decision by the people and government of Ethiopia to launch the construction of the dam is a response to our national development objectives and a firm commitment to regional integrated and sustainable cooperation."
He stressed the importance of building trust and confidence and promoting cooperation among the three eastern Nile Basin countries.
He further noted that the Ethiopian government has accepted the IPOE report on the dam, reiterating his country's keenness to construct the dam according to the international standards and not to harm the interests of the eastern Nile Basin countries.
The meeting is expected to issue a final communique at the end of the talks between the three countries.
The IPOE concluded its task last May and submitted its report to the governments of the three countries which agreed to convene the current meeting to discuss a mechanism to implement the panel recommendations.