Egypt Accepts Ethiopia-Sudan Proposal to Resume Dam Talks

ADDIS ABABA – Egypt expressed its willingness to resume negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan over Renaissance dam, Addis Ababa is building on river Nile.

After dillydallying on efforts to involve a third party into the negotiation table for months, Egypt’s foreign ministry said, in a statement issued late Thursday, it is “ready to enter into negotiations and participate in upcoming meetings … to reach a fair, balanced and comprehensive agreement”.

The statement came hours after Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his Sudanese counterpart, Abdala Hamdok, agreed to continue a ministerial-level discussion over the multi-billion-dollar hydropower dam.

The filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) – which is almost 74 percent complete has particularly been a source of tension between Ethiopia and Egypt.

Addis Ababa – which plans to start filling the dam next month – said it would not delay filling GERD, which it began constructing in 2011.

Earlier this month, Egypt took the matter to the UN security council to force Ethiopia delay its plan to fill the dam until agreement is reached between the two nations.

In a latter sent to the UNSC, Cairo also warned the situation “potentially poses a serious threat to peace and security throughout the region”.

No Reason to Delay

In a replay letter sent to the UN SC on May 14, Ethiopia’s foreign minister Gedu Andargachew said there is no going back on the project’s plan.

Ethiopia sees no reason to delay filling its controversial mega-dam, he said, accusing Egypt of being obstructionist.

“Ethiopia does not have a legal obligation to seek approval of Egypt to fill the dam,” Gedu said. The country “has made extraordinary efforts to accommodate Egypt’s unending demands and unpredictable behavior”.

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