Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday spoke over the phone, discussing Ethiopia‘s hydropower dam being built on the Nile River as well as other regional issues, Egyptian Foreign Ministry said.
“Minister Shoukry touched on the latest developments regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue in light of the stalled negotiations due to intransigent Ethiopian stances,” said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez in a statement.
The talks between Shoukry and Pompeo came a day after Arab foreign ministers voiced their support to Egypt‘s position on the Nile dam issue after their virtual meeting hosted by the Cairo-based Arab League.
Over the past few years, tripartite talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the rules of filling and operating the GERD have been fruitless, amid Egyptian concerns that the dam construction would affect Egypt’s annual share of Nile water.
Ethiopia has recently said that it would soon start filling the reservoir, while Egypt has repeatedly warned against any unilateral action without a prior tripartite agreement.
The 4-billion-dollar dam is expected to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become Africa’s largest hydropower dam upon completion.
Filling the reservoir, whose total capacity is 74 billion cubic meters, may take several years.
Egypt, being concerned about its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the river water, seeks to prolong the period of filling the GERD to avoid possible impacts of water shortage, which is a main point of their talks.