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Sudan re-declines Ethiopian offer for bilateral agreement on GERD filling

June 25, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan again declined an Ethiopian offer to sign a bilateral agreement on the filling of the Renaissance Dam and reiterated calls for a tripartite deal.

The planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project (AP)

Following a recent dispute over the legal binding character of an agreement between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the first filling of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Egypt in a letter to the Security Council blamed Ethiopia of posing a threat to international peace and security.

In return, Ethiopia said that Egypt wants to transform discussions on the filling process into a Nile water-sharing deal.

Sudan’s minister of irrigation Yasir Abbas in a statement issued on Wednesday recalled the efforts of his government and its recent initiative for a swift agreement accepted by all the parties.

“Sudan received an invitation from Ethiopia to resume negotiations, but the Sudanese government has reconfirmed its position that the resumption of negotiations requires political will to resolve (all) the contentious issues,” Abbas said.

He stressed that the initiative launched by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok remains the most appropriate framework for a solution of the disagreement over the GERD filling and operation.

The minister recalled the draft agreement submitted by Sudan on June 14, 2020, to the two other parties, adding it can serve as a basis for consensus as they now agree on most of the technical issues.

He also underscored how much the start of the filling without an agreement can affect Sudan’s Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile because its reservoir is at 15 km from the border.

The minister who leads Sudan’s negotiating delegation briefed foreign diplomats in Khartoum about the position of his government over the GERD filling.

Also; Sudan on Wednesday extended a written letter to the UN Security Council detailing its position and explained its proposal for the solution of the dispute.