KHARTOUM, Sudan

The talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the filling and operations of Ethiopia’s dam on the Nile River have failed, Sudan’s official news agency reported on Sunday.

The Sudan News Agency said that Naledi Pandor, the foreign minister of South Africa which chairs the African Union, voiced her “regret that the talks reached a dead end.”

On Sunday, a meeting kicked off in Sudan between the irrigation and foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to discuss issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

According to Anadolu Agency correspondent in Sudan, the meeting which was virtually convened tackled the rules and regulations for filling and operating the $5 billion dam.

On Saturday, Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas held a virtual meeting with experts from the African Union on the dam’s filling.

The three countries – Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – have been engaging in talks for nine years which witnessed reciprocal accusations between Egypt and Ethiopia of attempting to impose unrealistic solutions.

Egypt has been opposing the dam since its construction began in 2011, saying the hydro scheme would reduce the flow of water downstream. Ethiopia maintains the dam would be vital to addressing the country’s acute shortage in electricity, the country needs for domestic and industrial use.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara.

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