Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy met Friday with his Ethiopian counterpart Tedros Adhanom on the sidelines of the 17th Non-Aligned Movement to discuss the Renaissance Dam (GERD), which has become a fierce point of contention between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.
According to a statement released by the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, Adhanom stressed that “dialogue and consultation is the only solution to create understanding between the two countries,” while reiterating “the benefits of the GERD to Ethiopia and downstream countries and reaffirmed that it will not pose significant harm to the lower riparian countries”.
According to state-run Al-Ahram, Fahmy added that Egypt was still willing to negotiate with Ethiopia over the construction of the $4.2bn dam.
Tripartite talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia were held in November, December and January but no agreement was reached. The talks focused on the formation of a committee to implement recommendations put forth by a report detailing confidence-building measures concerning the dam and its effect on downstream nations.
The Egyptian foreign ministry later announced in March a detailed outline of the official stance towards the GERD. Egypt is looking to negotiate a “win-win” situation for all parties involved, both protecting the developmental need of Ethiopia and the water security of Egypt and Sudan.
However, the Egyptian side said Ethiopia continuing the construction process at the dam site “violates all the well-known international legal principles regarding projects and/or constructions on international rivers”, adding that it has broken a number of international agreements.
According to the foreign ministry, the Ethiopian side violated an agreement on the framework for cooperation with Egypt signed in 1993 where each party committed to “refrain from engaging in any activity related to the Nile waters that may cause appreciable harm to the interests of the other party”.