Ethiopia says 2nd GERD filling 'done according to 2015 DoP' with Egypt, Sudan

Ahram Online , Thursday 29 Jul 2021

Ethiopia highlighted the need to resume the African Union led tripartite talks over the GERD


Ethiopian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Dina Mufti on Thursday claimed that the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was implemented in accordance with the Declaration of Principles (DoP) signed with Egypt and Sudan in 2015.

In a biweekly briefing, Mufti said a meeting between Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary A. DiCarlo on Tuesday has underlined this information.

The 10-principle DoP was signed in March 2015 by the three countries in Khartoum to settle the GERD crisis.

The declaration obliges the three countries to take all the necessary procedures to avoid causing significant damage among them while using the Blue Nile.

A state whose use of the Blue Nile causes significant harm to any of the other two countries, in the absence of an agreement, should take all appropriate measures in consultations with the affected state to eliminate or mitigate such harm, according to the DoP.

Egypt and Sudan have warned that implementing the second filling of the dam before a binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam is reached can cause significant harm to their water rights and people’s lives.

The two countries reiterated that they support development in Ethiopia but said a binding deal should be reached so that all parties’ interests can be preserved.

Ethiopia, however, has completed the filling phase this month while claiming that this phase would not pose any significant threat to both downstream countries.

Ethiopia also called for a win-win solution on the GERD in July but refused to sign a permanent comprehensive deal.

Among the major points discussed during the Mekonnen’s meeting with DiCarlo was the need to resume the African Union led tripartite talks over the GERD, Mufti said during the briefing.

The meeting also warned against attempts to internationalise and securitise the GERD issue, claiming such measures would not be helpful to negotiating parties, according to Mufti.

Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas affirmed on Wednesday his country’s rejection to participating in GERD negotiations under the same methodology adopted in previous talks, which he described as “a waste of time.”

He also reiterated Sudan’s call to involve the international quartet of the United States, United Nations, African Union, and the European Union in the talks to boost the AU’s mediating role.

Egypt agrees with Sudan on the need for the international community to get involved in the talks to help the tripartite reach a legally-binding deal.

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