The Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour Tuesday praised the exemplary relationship between Ethiopia and Sudan but was keen to underscore that the talks on Renaissance Dame and Nile Water are always done with the Egyptian participation.
The Sudanese top diplomat was speaking at a press conference held in Khartoum after the arrival of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in an official three-day visit where the two neighbors will sign a number of bilateral agreements in various fields.
"Sudan’s relationship with Ethiopia goes beyond water issues. The water is a national security issue for Sudan, Ethiopia and the rest of the Nile Basin countries. Also, it is one of the most important issues under the Nile Basin Initiative, the Technical Committee of the Nile Basin and the water agreement between the three countries.(Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan), particularly about the Renaissance Dam," he said.
The issue of water has always been present when two of the three parties meet, but the concern is always "how to have tripartite cooperation between the three countries," he further stressed.
The Ethiopian multi-billion dollar Renaissance Dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20 kilometers from the Sudanese border, and has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate electrical power of up to 6,000 megawatts.
Sudan backs the project because its water will be used to develop the eastern Sudan region while Ethiopia says it intends to produce only electricity and has no interest in the water or any intention to harm Egypt.
However, Cairo is openly opposed to the project and requests more guarantees that the project will not affect its share of the Nile water.
Ghandour who held a joint press conference with State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Hirut Zemene told reports that bilateral meetings would be held between the respective ministers in the two countries to discuss issues of security, water, economic cooperation, etc.