Ethiopia denies GERD negotiations stalemate; says ready to resolve differences

Ahram Online , Monday 7 Oct 2019

Ethiopian Dam
Construction of the Ethiopian Dam

Ethiopia denied on Sunday that trilateral negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have reached a dead end, asserting its readiness to resolve any differences that impede consultations with Egypt and Sudan.

Abiy's comments came one day after the Egyptian side announced that the negotiations on the GERD had reached a dead end due to the “intransigence” of the Ethiopian side.

“Ethiopia stands ready to resolve any differences and outstanding concerns by consultation among the three countries,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted in English.

“The Government of Ethiopia will reinforce its effort to make the ongoing trilateral dialogue a success. It also expects a similar commitment from the two downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan.”

Following two-day ministerial negotiations on the dam, the Egyptian spokesperson of the Ministry of Water Recourses and Irrigation said on Saturday that Ethiopia presented a new proposal during Khartoum's meetings that was "a step back from all the principles previously agreed upon for the filling and operation of the dam."

“The proposal didn't include the minimum annual drainage of the dam, or ways to deal with the cases of drought and prolonged drought that might occur in the future,” the spokesman said.

In his tweets on Sunday, Abiy said that “Ethiopia commends the Water Affairs Ministers of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt for convening in Khartoum to continue with the trilateral dialogue on the filling and operation of Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam."

"Ethiopia reiterates rights of all the 11 basin countries of the Nile to utilise Nile waters based on principles of equitable utilisation, causing of no significant harm, which underlines the right of Ethiopia to develop its water resources to meet the development needs of its people," he added. 

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