Egypt will not accept incomprehensive deal on Ethiopian dam that does not take into account the former’s concerns or defers solving disputing issues, Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation has stressed.
The ministry’s statement came out late Wednesday after the sixth day of negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, with still no agreement reached on issues regarding the dam’s filling and operation.
The ministry also told international observers attending the meetings that Egypt has submitted many proposals to settle the dispute which all were rejected by the Ethiopian side.
It further said that Ethiopia’s inflexible stance on the technical and legal aspects in the talks reduces the chances of reaching an agreement, noting that these points represent the backbone of any possible agreement between the three countries.
During the Wednesday meeting, the Egyptian delegation showcased its views on technical issues relating to the mitigation measures for droughts and prolonged droughts, and measures to address prolonged dry years during the dam filling and operation, as well as the rules of filling after prolonged droughts.
Meanwhile, the observers put forward some notes and inquiries with the aim of bringing the different views closer, to which the technical and legal committees of the three countries respond.
The three countries are expected to complete the negotiation on Thursday in preparation for submitting their final report to the African Union, on the outcomes of this current round of talks.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that his country has proposed an offer to Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to provide technical assistance regarding the Ethiopian Nile dam crisis.
The Russian proposal came following a meeting of the AU Troika Committee, which includes Egypt, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“We have offered the participants in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations assistance, including technical assistance,” Lavrov said. “There are things that can be helpful. They know that well.”
He added, “The US also offered the three countries its services. Several meetings were held there, and we welcomed the progress that has been made.”
Lavrov noted that it is encouraging that the parties involved in the Ethiopian dam negotiations have agreed to accelerate contacts between the responsible ministers.
The minister said that, as part of the UN Security Council discussions on the disputed dam, Russia has urged for the negotiations to be completed soon. This would take into account an “overall coordination of approaches based on current international law and taking into account the interests of all parties concerned.”
The new current round of negotiations, which are due to end on 11 July, started on Friday under the sponsorship of the AU, which is currently headed by Presidency holder, South Africa. The AU’s Assembly Bureau and representatives from its member states, the US, and the European Union are also participating in the meetings.