Egypt raises concerns about Ethiopia’s GERD with German, Italian and Chinese envoys

Ahram Online , Sunday 13 Oct 2019

Renaissance Dam
FILE PHOTO: Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019. Picture taken September 26, 2019 Reuters

Egypt’s deputy foreign minister for African affairs, Hamdy Loza, held a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday with the ambassadors of Germany, Italy and China, to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the foreign ministry said.

Companies from the three countries are all working on the construction of the mega-dam on the Blue Nile.
According to the ministry, Loza expressed Egypt’s dismay and concern about the companies’ continued work on the construction of the dam, despite the lack of studies on the economic, social and environmental impacts of the dam on Egypt.
He also cited concerns about how the ongoing negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the operation and filling of the dam had stumbled due to the rigidity of Ethiopia.
Talks took place earlier this month in Khartoum and did not lead to an agreement on the operation of the dam, with Egyptian officials blaming Addis Ababa for what they described as a “deadlock.”
Ethiopia has expressed confidence in the ongoing negotiation process to reach an agreement.
Loza added that the lack of the studies and the failure to reach an agreement on the GERD are considered a violation of Ethiopia's commitment to the Declaration of Principles, which was based on international law and was signed by Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt in March 2015.
The deputy minister stressed that the international community should enact its responsibility to make Ethiopia commit to the principle of causing no harm to Egypt, and to work on an agreement that takes into consideration Egypt's water needs.
Earlier on Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced that he would meet with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed soon in Russia to discuss the matter.
Egypt fears the dam will reduce its Nile water supply.
Ethiopia maintains that the hydroelectric dam will not restrict the river’s flow and hopes the mega-project will turn it into a regional power hub.
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