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Meetings held in Washington, D.C. for the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Water Resources of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia were concluded on January 15, 2020. They were chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, in the presence of the World Bank President. The ensuing final statement stipulated that the three countries have agreed to hold a ministerial meeting in Washington, D.C., on January 28-29, 2020, in order to reach a comprehensive agreement on the rules for the filling and operationalization of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). This meeting is to be preceded by consultations between the technical and legal experts in the three countries, with the participation of the United States and the World Bank representatives, in preparation for the next Washington meeting.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Hafez stated that the joint final statement issued by the Washington Meeting contained the main elements and parameters of the final agreement on the GERD, which include the governing rules of the Dam’s filling and operationalization, as well as the procedures to be followed in order to deal with droughts and prolonged droughts, so as to ensure that no harm falls on Egypt’s water interests. The ministers agreed on a coordination mechanism between the three countries to be included in the final agreement in order to follow up its implementation, as well as to provide for a dispute-resolution mechanism in the agreement.
Hafez added that Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry expressed his appreciation to the US Secretary of Treasury for having chaired and sponsored the meetings, as well as his assisting team’s efforts to converge the three countries’ views. Finally, Foreign Minister expressed Egypt's intention to continue its efforts towards concluding a balanced and just final agreement on the GERD during the next Washington Meeting, which secures the three countries’ common interests, and preserves Egypt's water rights and interests.