The meeting to sign the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) consultation office agreement has been postponed until further notice, spokesperson for the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Waleed Hakek announced on Sunday.
The meeting was scheduled to take place on 9 September among the ministers of irrigation and water resources from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The consultation office is assigned to carry out technical studies that will determine the riskiness of the dam for Egypt and Sudan.
Hakeek explained that the meeting is postponed because the advisory office—to conduct the technical studies for the dam—and the legal office, which will draft the contracts, are both busy with other matters.
He added that the ministry is currently coordinating with the consultation offices and with the Sudanese and Ethiopian sides to agree on a new date for the meeting.
The two main studies that will be conducted by these consultation offices are: the impact of the dam on the river’s hydraulic head to Egypt and Sudan, and the dam’s economic and social implications, Hany Raslan, African expert on Sudan and Nile basin countries at Ahram Centre, told Daily News Egypt previously.
Professor of water resources, Nader Nour Al-Din, previously told Daily News Egypt that the consultation offices will take up to 12 months to study the effects of the GERD on Egypt, by which time Ethiopia will have completed construction of the dam.
Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles in March 2015, in which they agreed on the construction of the GERD. The government is claiming that the consultation offices will guarantee that the water share of each country will not be affected.
The GERD, of which 70% has been completed, has strained relations between Ethiopia and Egypt since construction began in 2011, with relations reaching their lowest point in 2013.
Despite the tension that erupted between Egypt and Ethiopia over the past few years since Ethiopia started to construct the GERD, spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Ahmed Abou Zaid previously told Daily News Egypt that it had no effect on the bilateral relations between the two countries.