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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

UN head urges Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to resolve GERD crisis peacefully

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges the three parties to work towards a friendly agreement in accordance with the spirit of the 2015 principles.

Sama Osama , Tuesday 19 May 2020
Guterres
FILE PHOTO: Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres speaks during a Security Council meeting about the situation in Syria at U.N. Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 28, 2020. REUTERS
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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to peacefully resolve any disagreements on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement.

Guterres continues to closely follow developments related to the GERD, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

“He notes the good progress in the negotiations between the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Sudan thus far,” the spokesman said.

“[The secretary general] encourages the three parties to persevere with efforts to peacefully resolve any remaining differences and to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement,” the spokesman added.

Guterres “underscores the importance of the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the GERD, which emphasises cooperation based on common understanding, mutual benefit, good faith, win-win, and the principles of international law.”

He urged the three parties to work towards a friendly agreement in accordance with “the spirit of these principles.”

On 1 May, Egypt sent a letter to the head of the UN Security Council (UNSC) about the GERD crisis after the failure of the three countries to reach an agreement on its filling and operation.

The negotiations between the three countries stalled in late February after Ethiopia declined to sign a deal drafted by American mediators.

Egypt and Sudan then rejected an Ethiopian agreement released on 10 April proposing a “partial agreement” that would only cover the first stage of the filling.

The letter Egypt sent to the Security Council details the stages of GERD talks and the moves Egypt adopted in accordance with international law.

Ethiopia said on 11 May that it will start filling its mega-dam in July despite not reaching an agreement with the two downstream countries.

In a 22-page letter, Ethiopia told the UNSC it “does not have a legal obligation to seek the approval of Egypt to fill the dam.”

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