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Egypt says last round of GERB talks is “last chance” before filling second dam

CAIRO / KINSHASA (Reuters) – The latest meeting between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam could be the last chance to resume talks before it is completed for a second year in a row, Egypt said in a statement. Sunday.

The meeting ends on Monday in Kinshasa. Previous attempts to reach an agreement on the giant dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile have come to a standstill.

Ethiopia says the dam is key to its economic development and electricity generation. Egypt fears it will disrupt its water supply from the Nile, while Sudan is concerned about the safety of the dam and the regulation of water flows through its own dams and water stations.

Ethiopia has said it will refill the reservoir behind the giant hydroelectric dam after seasonal rains begin this summer, a move opposed by both Sudan and Egypt.

“These negotiations represent the last opportunity the three countries must use to reach an agreement … before the upcoming flood season,”

; the Egyptian foreign minister said in a statement.

Last week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said there would be “unimaginable instability in the region” if Egypt’s water supply was affected by the dam.

Sudan is currently embroiled in a tense border dispute with Ethiopia over the fertile region of Al-Fashqa, and completed joint military exercises with Egypt on Saturday.

In a separate statement, Sudan said Ethiopia had raised its stakes in the talks, seeking to reopen discussions on the distribution of water in the Nile.

“I urge everyone to start anew, to open one or many windows of hope,” said Felix Tishekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and president of the African Union, who is mediating the talks.

In March, Sudan welcomed the UAE’s initiative to mediate both the dam negotiations and the border dispute, but recently called for the involvement of the UN, the European Union and the United States as mediators.

Report by Nayer Abdallah in Cairo, Here the Netherlands in Kinshasa and Khalid Abdelaziz in Khartoum, written by Nafisa Eltahir; Edited by Hugh Lawson

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