By Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Monday declared in capital Addis Ababa that the dispute between his country, Sudan and Ethiopia over the hydro-electric dam project on the Nile had been resolved.
"Congratulations, we solved our problems," El Sisi said after a closed-door meeting with Ethiopian President Hailemariam Desalegn and Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan Al Beshir.
The three leaders came out of the meeting holding up their hands together.
El Sissi, hemmed in the middle of the two, said: "We have overcome our problems. We will be working as one.”
It has been six years since Ethiopia launched the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) -- a $4.8 billion mega hydro-electric dam project on the Nile near the Ethiopia-Sudan border.
In October last year, the water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan dispersed from a meeting in Cairo without reaching an agreement on the "inception report" put forth by international consultants – BRL -- hired by the three countries to study the impact of the dam.
A 12-strong National Technical Committee, drawing up four experts each from the three countries, that had been set up to implement studies on the dam would now resume.
“We have now instruction to resume our work within a period of one month,” a high-profile expert source, who is part of the committee, told Anadolu Agency anonymously due to restrictions on talking to the media.
According to him, the closed-door meeting was held in a cheerful and amicable environment.
In October, Ethiopia and Sudan rejected an Inception Report tabled by the consultants saying the BRL came up with a proposal of more work that was not included in the terms of reference given to it.
Egypt fears the hydro dam project on the Nile would reduce its “traditional water share”, while Ethiopia insists it needs electric energy critically for its development.