The Sudanese foreign minister said that the dispute over the controversial dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile is hung up on some fundamental legal issues, and reiterated her country’s rejection of the dam’s reservoir being filled before an agreement is reached.
Minister Asma Mohamed Abdalla said on Saturday that the recent rounds of negotiation on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) had made tangible progress with regards to technical issues, which reinforces the notion that negotiation is the best way to reach a satisfactory result.
"The dispute still exists on some fundamental legal issues, which necessitated referring the issue to the prime ministers of the three countries with the aim of reaching a political consensus that would in turn lead to the resumption and completion of negotiations as soon as possible,” the Sudanese minister said.
The foreign minister also reiterated Sudan's categorical rejection of any unilateral move that would harm the country or negatively impact the safety and operation of its Roseires Dam.
The latest round of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the giant $4.8 billion hydropower project stalled this week after Addis Ababa refused to enter into a binding agreement on the dam’s operation.
Amid the escalating tensions with Ethiopia, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed on the necessity of reaching a deal on the dam issue.
In a televised speech made during an inspection tour of Egypt’s Western Military Region on Saturday, El-Sisi stressed the need for “a strong move to finalise talks and reach an agreement.”
Egypt said on Friday that it had lodged a formal complaint with the UN Security Council after Ethiopia’s assertion that it would fill the dam’s reservoir regardless of whether a deal is reached.