Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed that Ethiopia’s progress in filling and operating the Renaissance Dam without agreement with the two downstream countries is totally ‘rejected’ and is considered a clear violation of the Declaration of Principles, warning that the dam affects stability in the region.
Shoukry has been pushing Sudan to join Egypt in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) file seeing that they both are equally affected by Ethiopia’s decision.
The Foreign Minister stressed in his plenary session of Parliament speech, on Wednesday, that the GERD file is going through a very delicate phase due to long -term negotiations without reaching an agreement under the rules of international law.
Shoukry pointed out that the international community has been invited to mediate to resolve this crisis, calling on Ethiopia to have a fourth party to reach an agreement.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister revealed that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has ordered to take all the necessary political measures, under the international law, to preserve Egypt’s water rights.
“These measures will guarantee Ethiopia’s right to generate power from the dam in a way that will not affect Egypt’s water security” he explained.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in the plenary session that the door is still open for negotiations and dialogue with Ethiopia over GERD but “on the condition” that it does not affect Egypt’s rights.
On the other hand, the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy considered on Wednesday, that the new Egyptian proposal on GERD negotiations is “beyond the red line” drawn by Ethiopia, stressing that the construction of the dam is “a matter of survival and national sovereignty of Ethiopia.”
The statement noted that Tefera Beyene, Border and Cross-Border Rivers Affairs Advisor at the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy, briefed the participants about the series of trilateral talks being held between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt, after which Egypt announced that negotiations had reached a “dead end” and demanded the participation of an international mediator.
“Egypt has proposed to release 40bn cubic metres of water each year, and to release more water when the Aswan Dam is less than 165 meters above sea level, and invited a fourth party to the discussions between the three countries,” Tefera Bin said.
Recently, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry considered Egypt’s demand for an international mediator in the negotiations on GERD negotiations as “unjustified denial … and violates the Declaration of Principles agreement signed between the three countries on March 23, 2015”.