By XINHUA – Sudan on Saturday called for raising the negotiation on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) from the ministerial level to the level of head of state.

“The negotiation must be raised from the level of ministers to the level of presidents of the three countries through the African Union in order to provide political support for the negotiations,” Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas said at a press conference in the capital Khartoum.

“Continuation of the negotiations in the current form will not be effective,” Abbas added, noting Sudan’s commitment to negotiation any time and anywhere.

Reaching a deal in Nile dam talks needs a decision from the highest political leaderships in the three countries, he explained.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on Friday concluded their latest round of dam talks without reaching consensus over a draft deal regarding the GERD that should have been submitted to the African Union on Friday.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity through the project.

However, Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for its fresh water, are concerned that the dam might affect their water resources.

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