Tue, 23 Mar 2021 - 11:41 GMT
Tue, 23 Mar 2021 - 11:41 GMT
CAIRO – 23 March 2021: Egypt’s minster of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Aati said that Egypt has shown a great degree of flexibility during negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) for an agreement that protects the rights of all the parties involved.
He added during a session hosted by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR), Tuesday in the presence of senior journalists and media representatives to introduce them to the latest developments in the GERD issue, that Ethiopia tried to stalling negotiations intentionally to avoid signing any legal binding agreement during the past period.
He said that about 11 dams are currently being built on the Nile River, some of which are even financed by Egypt, which reflects the Egyptian good intention regarding cooperating with the African countries for development.
He added that Egypt will refuse any negative or harmful impacts that could result from the second filling of the Renaissance Dam which is expected next July.
Earlier Tuesday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that his country is willing to finish the dam project and that the second filling will take place next July as scheduled.
He added that his country does not wish to harm Egypt or Sudan’s water interests as they ‘do not want any war with Sudan’.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister renewed his country’s adherence to the African Union mediation on the negotiation of the Renaissance Dam.
Marking the International Water Day, Abdel Aati said, Monday that Cairo will not accept the unilateral measures taken by Ethiopia regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and its consequences.
He noted that Nile River and the dam file became one of the huge challenges that face Egypt.
Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Mabdouli said in his speech at the UN High-Level meeting on the implementation of the water-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda, March 18, that “Water issue has turned into a threat to the security and safety of states and peoples of the Nile River”.
“The world is witnessing huge challenges, most notably the aggravating of water scarcity crisis,” he added, calling for developing the concepts and principles to promote the rational management of water resources.
The Egyptian Prime Minister added that Nile River provides 98% of the Egyptians' water needs, saying “we are concerned about recent developments related to the Renaissance Dam file. We seek a fair and balanced agreement during the negotiations on the Renaissance Dam.”
The GERD negotiations failed to reach the desired agreement and Ethiopia is seeking to impose a fait accompli and take unilateral measures without taking into account the interests of the two downstream countries Egypt and Sudan’, he continued.
Ethiopia has announced several times that it would proceed with the second phase of the filling of the controversial reservoir’s dam with 13 billion cubic meters in July, 2021. Last year in mid-July, Ethiopian authorities unilaterally carried out the first phase of the filling process with 4.9 billion cubic meters, causing harm to Sudan.
“The second filling of the dam contravenes international obligations and agreements. The second filling of the Renaissance Dam threatens to inflict serious damage to the interests of Egypt and Sudan,” said Madbouli in his speech.
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have only a four-month period during which they could reach a legal and binding agreement on the sticking points regarding the GERD ahead of the second phase of the filling. That is why Egypt and Sudan are diplomatically moving to resume the suspended negotiations, asking for a quartet mediation (by the African Union, the United Nations, European Union, and the United States of America) the in this file.