Sudan on Wednesday announced its rejection to unilateral filling of Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) without an agreement between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.
"Sudan does not accept unilateral filling of the dam without signing an agreement," Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas said at a press conference in the capital Khartoum.
Sudan on Wednesday proposed to refer the issues of difference over the GERD to the political leadership in the three countries, Abbas said.
EQUITABLE WATER USE
The Sudanese minister highlighted Sudan's support for the right of any country in equitable use of water without causing harm.
Abbas also described the negotiations' atmosphere as "positive" to reach a deal before July 1.
Since June 9, the three countries have been holding regular video meetings to discuss issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD in the presence of three observers from the United States, the European Union Commission and South Africa.
In March 2015, leaders of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed the Declaration of Principles committed to reaching an agreement regarding the GERD through cooperation.
Ethiopia started building the GERD in 2011.
Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for its fresh water, is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the water resources of the river.
The GERD, covering an area of 1,800 square km, is now scheduled to be completed in three years at a cost of USD4.7 billion.