The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, and the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel-Ati, held a preparatory and coordination meeting upon their arrival in Washington to represent their country in the round of negotiations for the Renaissance Dam hosted by the United States with the participation of the World Bank, and begins tomorrow and runs until Thursday.
Negotiations in Washington
Tomorrow, in Washington, official meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Irrigation and the legal and technical delegations accompanying them will start tomorrow at the invitation of the US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin to continue negotiating a draft agreement to fill and operate the Renaissance Dam.
Additional round of negotiation
And Egyptian diplomatic sources have previously revealed an agreement between Cairo and Washington to hold an additional negotiation round on the issue of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, this month, if the round that begins tomorrow, Wednesday, will not be successful.
The regime’s neglect of Egypt‘s water rights
The sources stressed the stalemate in negotiations between Egypt and Ethiopia, which is that the announcement of reaching an agreement is in fact the most that Egypt aspires in the current situation, regardless of the effect of this agreement in reality on its share of the waters of the Nile, and also the announcement of reaching an agreement is the most possible Ethiopia granted it to Egypt and Sudan in the current period, regardless of the content, all of this compared to the signing of the agreement of principles, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, in March 2015, which cost Egypt significant political, legal and technical consequences that cannot be remedied at present, and does not allow the Egyptian negotiator much of Options.
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The sources stated that the priority in the new round of negotiations will be to resolve the file of the coordination and conflict resolution mechanisms, which Addis Ababa has suspended agreement on in the last Washington tour, as it sees its authority over the dam as sovereign and absolute, while Egypt sees and proposes the United States and Sudan agrees to include several tracks , By allocating two regular annual meetings between the foreign and water ministers in each of the three countries, in which Addis Ababa presents its filling plan, and Egypt displays its various fears and caveats.
However, Ethiopia wants to keep the foreign ministers away from the technical discussions, and there are other proposals that a pure technical committee be formed from the three countries to follow the state of the Nile and the extent of each party’s commitment to its obligations.
There are also other disputes about resorting to countries or consulting offices to settle disputes, as Egypt desires to continue to rely on the World Bank and the United States in this field, while Ethiopia offers to introduce an African party, which Egypt does not welcome.
Low negotiation ceiling
There are also differences in the wording of the items that have been agreed in principle to date, namely: a timetable that includes a plan for filling the Renaissance Dam in stages, the mechanism that includes procedures related to dealing with droughts and protracted droughts and scarce years during filling, and the mechanism that includes procedures for dealing With droughts, protracted droughts and scarce years during operation, note that this agreement is still subject to the final signature of the comprehensive agreement.