Egypt said it respects the right of upstream countries in creating development projects as long as they do not affect the quantity or quality of Nile Water available to the rest of the countries, during talks with Sudan which ended on Thursday.
The two downstream countries said that they are committed to the 1959 water sharing agreement signed between Egypt and Sudan, during the 54th session of the Permanent Joint Technical Commission for Nile Waters, which ran from Sunday to Thursday in Khartoum, Sudan. The technical commission is the body set up to implement the agreement, which was signed only by the two countries and divided the majority of Nile water between them.
As per the agreement, Egypt will receive 55.5bn cubic metres of the estimated total 84bn cubic metres of Nile water produced each year, and Sudan will receive 18.5bn cubic metres.
The two countries asserted the importance of adhering to the 1959 agreement in coordinating their positions regarding developmental projects by other Nile Basin countries.
Ethiopia began diverting water from one of the Nile River’s tributaries in May 2013, and is currently building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is expected to be completed within three years.
Egypt fears that the electricity generating dam Ethiopia is building will have a detrimental effect on its lion’s share of Nile water. Talks between Egypt and Ethiopia on 10 February ended without the two sides resolving “sticking points”.
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have held a series of tripartite talks in November, December and January; however, they have also not reached an agreement.