Oil Report

CORRECTED-Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan views come closer on giant Nile dam - Sudanese minister

(Corrects dates of meeting, paragraph 4)

KHARTOUM, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have come closer to aligning their views on filling the reservoir of and operating the giant hydroelectric dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, the Sudanese irrigation minister said on Sunday.

Egypt is worried the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), under construction near Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, will restrict supplies of already scarce Nile waters on which it is almost entirely dependent.

“Proposals were submitted by the three countries regarding filling the reservoir and operating the dam and a convergence (of views) occurred,” Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasser Abbas told reporters after he met with his Egyptian and Ethiopian counterparts in Khartoum.

“It was agreed to take the new positions separately to be discussed at the meetings in Addis Ababa,” he said. The three sides will meet in the Ethiopian capital on Jan. 9-10.

They also agreed to define droughts and the operating conditions during droughts, Abbas said.

“There is a convergence (of views) in general, and there are differences of views in some circumstances. Sudan proposed a specified time for filling the reservoir and added definitions for drought and continuous drought,” Abbas said. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Yousef Saba; editing by David Evans)