ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia on Monday expressed its dismay with a resolution adopted by the League of Arab States on the Grand Ethioĺpian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
In a statement, the ministry of Foreign Affairs said the resolution echoed Egyptian “hostile rhetoric” regarding the Dam.
“This resolution is an affront to the African Union and its Member States, which are working to bring an amicable negotiated resolution to the GERD matter,” the foreign ministry said.
“It also runs contrary to the cherished and shared history of the peoples of Africa and the Arab world.”
The last trilateral talks held under the auspices of the African Union (AU) failed to yield an agreement on the dam’s filling and operations.
Cairo insist that Addis Ababa should cease filling the reservoir until such a deal is reached – a position Ethiopia sees as contradictory to previously agreed principles.
In 2015, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan signed the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles (DoPs), which states that the construction of the Dam shall continue in parallel to the negotiations on the guidelines and rules on the first filling and operation of the Dam.
The details of dam filling, including the volume and duration, have also been agreed upon between the experts of the three countries.
“Throughout the process, going out of its way, Ethiopia has catered to the concerns of Egypt and Sudan,” the foreign ministry said.
“Ethiopia is and will continue to act respecting the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of the waters of the Nile,” it continued.
“Thus, the allegation that Ethiopia has taken unilateral measures is a deliberate mischaracterization.”
‘Egypt Misusing Arab League Forum’
According to The Foreign Ministry, Cairo has repeatedly use the Arab league’s various platforms to exert pressure on Ethiopia, instead of committing to AU-led trilateral talks.
These attempts “represent its lack of good faith and violation of the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles it concluded with Ethiopia and Sudan,” the foreign ministry said.
The ministry noted that Ethiopia is working closely with Sudan on all bilateral matters, including regarding the GERD, and commends those Arab League’s Member States “that cautioned against Egypt’s attempts to escalate the matter.”
“Ethiopia is confident that members of the League, particularly the Member States of the African Union, will disassociate themselves from this resolution,” it said.
“They should prevent Egypt’s further misuse of the League that could potentially create a rift in the longstanding African-Arab friendship and historic relations.”
Unlawful “water rights” claim
Addis Ababa has long been opposing Cairo’s “historical water right” claims over the river based on colonial-era Anglo-Egyptian treaties reached without the involvement of Ethiopia.
“Ethiopia calls upon Egypt to abandon its unlawful claim to the monopoly of the Nile River, citing defunct colonial agreements and a colonial-mentality-based position…, negotiate in good faith and reach a win-win outcome.
“Egypt should also act responsibly to lay the foundation for future generations of all the Nile River basin countries to nurture friendship and cooperation based on mutual respect.”