Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to meet in March over Renaissance Dam

Renaissance Dam - REUTERS
CAIRO: Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet March 1 in Khartoum to evaluate bids offered by consultation companies for conducting studies on the impact of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile downstream countries, announced Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Houssam el-Moughazi Tuesday.
Moughazi  told Youm7 Tuesday the deadline for the five companies to submit their offers is on Feb, 21 and the TNC will study the offers in a 10-day period.
He noted that the office that will be chosen would conduct its studies in a period between 5 and 12 months.
The construction of the dam has chilled relations between Addis Ababa and Cairo; Egypt has stated the construction would affect its share of Nile water, whereas Ethiopia has claimed the dam is necessary for its development. But in a move some have seen as a thaw, both states agreed to the tripartite talks that started in August and were hosted by Sudan.
The three countries agreed during Cairo negotiations in October 2014 to choose a law office to contract with the consultant office that will be chosen by the 12-member Technical National Committee (TNC) of the three countries.
In May 2013, an advisory panel originally conducted a report on the dam’s impact on downstream countries Egypt and Sudan. However, Egypt rejected that report and the studies submitted by the Ethiopian side. The three countries started their negotiations in three sessions in November and December of 2013 and January 2014, but the talks came to an impasse after failing to reach an agreement to implement the report.