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Thursday, 24 September 2020

UNSC urges consensus, warns against unilateral actions during meeting on GERD

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Jun 2020
UN
Members of the United Nation security council discussing the GERD's issue (Screen Shot From Youtube)
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United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members agreed during the open online session on Monday night that tripartite talks between the countries involved in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute should be conducted on the basis of understanding.

The meeting was held upon Egypt's request after renewed negotiations over the $4.8 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) failed to produce an accord last week, and Ethiopia said it will go ahead with filling the dam's reservoir in July even without approval from the two downstream countries.

The international body urged Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, engaged in a decade-long dispute over the hydropower project, against adopting unilateral actions.

France representative, Nicolas de Rivière, the current UNSC head called upon all concerned parties to respect the 2015 Declaration Of Principles signed by the three countries and solve the disagreements amicably.

"The dispute surrounding the Renaissance Dam, if not resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, could lead to further tensions in the region. Any escalation should be avoided to reach a consensus through dialogue", he said.

Rivière expressed his appreciation for the "major role" the African Union (AU) played to mediate between the three African countries.

He added that discussions held between the parties last week under the auspices of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the current AU head, are a step in the right direction and must continue.

The Security Council meeting saw the representatives of the US and Germany at the UNSC call on the three countries to reach consensus in the nearest time possible. The US warned against making statements or moves that may undermine the talks.

China, meanwhile, said it is ready to help in efforts to resolve the GERD crisis.

South Africa announced its rejection of unilateral actions that may harm any of the parties involved in the negotiations, adding that it will welcome any outcomes agreed upon by the three countries.

"We depend on the Declaration of Principles signed between the three countries in 2015 to resolve the dam issue," said the UK representative, insisting that negotiation is the only way to resolve the dispute.

The UK also stated it supports the outcome of the African Union meeting held on Friday.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed during the AU meeting that Addis Ababa will delay the filling of the hydropower dam it is building on the Blue Nile until a final binding deal is reached, the Egyptian presidency announced on Friday, signalling progress in talks over the disputed project.

 

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