Home | News    Tuesday 16 June 2020

Egypt seeks to refer GERD’s issue to Security Council: Ethiopia’s FM

June 16, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Ethiopia accused Egypt of seeking to obstruct the ongoing talks for an agreement over the filling of the reservoir of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in abide to refer the dispute to the Security Council.

Ethiopia's FM Gedu Andargachew The accusation comes after statements by the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at a public event held in Cairo about "Egyptian diplomacy: dealing with the current challenges." on Monday.

After blaming Ethiopia for dodging negotiations and intransigence, Shukri stressed that his government has to consider other options such as resorting to the UN Security Council to prevent Ethiopia from taking unilateral action that negatively affects Egypt’s water rights.

The Ethiopian minister made his statement while the three countries were negotiating via videoconference an agreement on the first filling of the $4 billion hydropower dam initiated by the Sudanese government.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew told reporters in Addis Ababa that Egypt is making efforts to "take the issue to the UN Security Council" while negotiating with his country and Sudan.

"While we invite them for negotiation open-minded and discussing issues based on principles, Egyptians are thinking in a different way and to disrupt the negotiation," said Andargachew.

Egypt has left no stone unturned to first stop the construction and then “hold us back when we already started," he further said according to the official Ethiopian News Agency.

"Now, they are working to defame and weaken Ethiopia,” he stressed before to call on the international community to put pressure on Egypt to act as per the principles of a just and equitable share of the Nile water.

Talks between three countries on Monday focused on drought management rules during the long term filling and operation of the GERD.

The Sudanese government said that "great progress" was achieved on the operation of the GERD, the safety of the dam, the long-term operation, data exchange and the technical committee for the needed coordination between the upstream and downstream countries.

Also, it spoke about progress in the discussions over the "first filling of the dam" which is the main issue of concern for Egypt.

Differences emerged between the three parties on the legal aspects, especially in binding character and legal force of the agreement and how to amend it.

No statement has been released about the outcome of Tuesday meeting but the three countries agreed to allow the legal teams to discuss the legal issues before the trilateral meeting chaired by Ethiopia.

If the parties fail to strike a deal then the prime ministers of the three countries are expected to meet to discuss the remaining issues.