03:22 GMT25 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have significantly advanced in the African Union (AU)-mediated talks on the dispute around the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and are committed to finding a solution, the commissioner for peace and security told Sputnik.

    The talks are being mediated by South Africa, the current holder of the AU chairmanship.

    "The discussions are ongoing. Indeed, since 3 July the parties have been meeting under the auspices of the African Union and there has been notable progress in the negotiations. The Parties to the GERD [talks] continue to express their confidence in the AU-led process and have reaffirmed their commitment to finding a mutually beneficial and negotiated agreement," Smail Chergui said.

    The GERD has been under construction by Ethiopia since 2011 and is set to become Africa's largest, but Egypt and Sudan fear it might jeopardize their own water security.

    The three countries have held dozens of rounds of talks but failed to agree on how soon the dam should be filled. Should the time frame be short, Egypt and Sudan fear they might annually fall short of a water amount enough to cause severe drought and crop failure. Ethiopia is, however, pushing for a shorter period.

    Tags:
    Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, African Union (AU)
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