Arab Legaue's secretary-general Ahmed Abo El-Gheit (Photo: AP)
The secretary general of the Arab League, Ahmed Abul-Gheit, said Sunday that the pan-Arab organisation was following "with extreme concern" talks between the River Nile's downstream Arab countries Egypt and Sudan, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
In an address to the Fourth Arabic Forum for Water in Cairo, Abul-Gheit stated that the water security of the most populous Arab country, in reference to Egypt, was a matter of Arab national security.
"We do not feel that Ethiopia was cooperating and coordinating enough. The Ethiopian plans to operate the dam and use its water in irrigation are ambiguous and concerning," Abul-Gheit said, according to Ahram's Arabic news website.
Abul-Gheit called on Ethiopia to show more openness to cooperation, transparency and participation, especially given that "there are currently 400 million people living on the banks of the Nile who will reach one billion by 2050."
"I talk here clearly about how the talks between Egypt and Ethiopia are stalled on GERD's standards of construction and operation," he said, adding that Egypt receives 85 per cent of its water from the Ethiopian highlands through the Blue Nile.
Earlier this month, negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan broke down over how to conduct technical studies of the dam's potential impact on downstream countries.
Egyptian officials have expressed concern over repeated delays, given that construction of the dam is already well underway.
Next month, Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are scheduled to meet in Cairo to discuss the deadlock.