Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri met with his Sudanese counterpart Dardari Mohamad Ahmed on Saturday, on the side-lines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The topic of trilateral negotiations between the two countries and Ethiopia, over the controversial dam upstream of the Nile, came about as part of larger topics of regional issues of common concern.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abou Zaid said that Shukri expressed satisfaction over the development of relations between the two countries.

For his part, Ahmed stressed the keenness of his country to develop and deepen bilateral cooperation between the two countries in all fields, in line with “the aspirations of the peoples of both countries”.

In 2011, Ethiopia started construction on the GERD over the Blue Nile River, one of the major sources of the water that forms the River Nile downstream.

Ethiopians see it as is a great national project and a means of overcoming poverty. Egypt, however, feared the dam will affect its historic Nile water which it has had access to since the historic 1959 agreement with Sudan.

Egypt’s share of Nile water sits at 55.5 billion cubic meters, while Sudan’s quota is 18.5 billion cubic meters.

This is in accordance with an agreement signed between the two downstream countries in 1959; Ethiopia is not part of this agreement, but has reassured Cairo that its water share will not be affected.