File Photo: Algerian President Abdel Madjid Tebboune. AFP
Algerian President Abdel-Madjid Tebboune revealed on Sunday that there was a positive response from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia concerning an Algerian initiative to resolve the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute.
“There is a very great [positive] reaction” from the three countries, Tebboune said, noting that “our Egyptian brothers also accepted [the initiative] with open arms.”
This is significant, “especially since the [United Nations] Security Council has not decided on the issue and has returned it to the African Union,” the Algerian president added.
“The Algerian mediation will never stop and, God willing, we will succeed in it,” Tebboune said, affirming that “the initiative is 100 percent Algerian and has not been dictated by anyone.”
“We have no horse in the race,” Tebboune said, affirming that his country only aims to ensure “brotherhood, African stability, and the return of Africa to the international forums.”
Tebboune said his country has “really demanded from the beginning that our Egyptian, Sudanese, and Ethiopian brothers do not escalate their conflict in terms of the GERD issue to a crisis that leads them to hot water.”
Late in July, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen asked his Algerian counterpart FM Ramtane Lamamra during his visit to Addis Abba that Algeria play a role in “correcting” what he described as the Arab League’s “misperceptions” about the GERD.
Ethiopia also asked Algeria to persuade Sudan to solve their border dispute peacefully.
Following his visit to Addis Abbas, Lamamra headed to Khartoum and Cairo directly, where he held talks with Sudanese FM Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdy and Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry.
Sudan welcomed the Algerian initiative inviting the leaders of the three countries to hold a direct meeting to reach a solution to the GERD dispute.
In a press conference with his Algerian counterpart in Cairo, Shoukry did not comment on the GERD issue, but Lamamra said that his country was keen that Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan reach “satisfying solutions” that preserve their right in the GERD issue.
The GERD talks reached a deadlock after Ethiopia unilaterally implemented the second phase of filling the dam in July, a step that Egypt and Sudan have warned against due to the absence of a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.
Egypt and Sudan have warned against the consequences of the unilateral filling, citing concerns over their water rights and people’s lives.
Algeria is the latest country to offer mediation in an attempt to resolve the GERD dispute.
Last year, the United States held a round of mediated talks in Washington between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, but the talks ended after Ethiopia withdrew without signing the agreement supported and signed by Egypt.
Last week, Russia offered to “exert all possible efforts” to reach a solution that puts into consideration the interest of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, according to its envoy to Cairo Ambassador Georgiy Broisenko.