Kuwait, Jordan voice support for Egypt and Sudan's water rights; urge negotiated solution to GERD dispute

Ahram Online , Wednesday 7 Jul 2021

The Kuwaiti foreign ministry is calling for the international community to intensify its efforts to facilitate the resumption of the GERD negotiations


Kuwait and Jordan on Wednesday each reiterated support for the Egyptian and Sudanese rights to the River Nile’s waters, urging a negotiated solution in the dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Earlier this week, Ethiopia notified Egypt and Sudan that it had started the second phase of filling its massive dam’s reservoir despite the lack of a binding agreement with the downstream countries on the filling and operation of the dam.

The Kuwaiti foreign ministry has called for the international community to intensify its efforts, along with the African Union and the League of Arab States, to facilitate the resumption of negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Negotiations should lead to a solution to the GERD issue that conforms to the principles of international law and agreements and that go in line with the rights and interests of the three countries and other Nile basin states, the ministry said in a statement.

Kuwait affirmed the need for a “comprehensive and permanent” solution to the GERD dispute that meets the aspiration of the region’s peoples.

The ministry also hailed the efforts made by Egypt and Sudan to contain the crisis, as they call for resolving the dispute in accordance with international law.

The statement highlighted Kuwait’s support for international efforts to find a solution to tackle this “vital and sensitive” issue.

The Jordanian foreign ministry said that the water security of both Egypt and Sudan is an inseparable part of Arab national security, reiterating the kingdom’s absolute support for Egypt and Sudan in protecting their rights.

Jordan affirmed the need to reach a negotiated solution to the GERD crisis in a way that protects the rights of all parties to the River Nile.

The ministry affirmed the need to refrain from any unilateral action that is carried out without a fair agreement between the three nations based on international law.

“The intensive efforts Egypt and Sudan are making to reach a negotiated agreement on the dam issue reflects their keenness to achieve justice in the distribution of Nile waters in a way that prevents tension and reinforces cooperation,” the Jordanian ministry added.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia also voiced support for the call by Egypt and Sudan for a solution to the GERD crisis based on the principles of international law.

The kingdom also affirmed support for the international efforts to reach a binding deal to end the GERD crisis.

The United Nations Security Council is set to hold a session on the GERD issue on Thursday.

As Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Sudanese counterpart Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi arrived in New York to prepare for the UNSC meeting, the Ethiopian water ministry sent letters to the two countries notifying them about the start of the GERD filling for the second year in a row.

Egypt and Sudan have condemned the move by Ethiopia, with Shoukry warning that “all options are open.”

Shoukry has held intensive talks with foreign officials in New York ahead of the UNSC session to explain Egypt’s stance on the GERD dispute.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian FM met with the representatives of Russia, China, Britain, the US, and France, the five permanent member states of the UNSC.

Ethiopia rejects the intervention of the UNSC and the Arab League in the GERD issue, and says it is sticking to the African Union-sponsored talks.

The African Union talks have failed to achieve any progress in the GERD issue, with Egypt and Sudan blaming the failure on Ethiopia's intransigence and intention to impose fait accompli on the two downstream states.

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