Ethiopia said, on Wednesday, that the African Union (AU) led negotiations on its controversial Blue Nile dam will bring a win-win solution to all parties involved in the issue.
Also on Wednesday, Addis Ababa announced that it expects to reach an agreement with Egypt and Sudan regarding the project.
According to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dina Mufti, the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is progressing well and will run as previously announced.
Mufti’s remarks came during the ministry’s weekly press conference, with the Spokesperson saying that “the tendency to invite various parties as mediators to the issue while the AU-led negotiation has not been finalised is demeaning the efforts of the AU”.
On Tuesday, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from both Egypt and Sudan issued a joint statement reiterating their call to reach a legally binding agreement on the GERD, to protect the interests of the three parties. They also called on Ethiopia to show goodwill, and engage in an effective negotiation process in order to reach a consensus.
Both Egypt and Sudan renewed their adherence to the proposal submitted by Sudan, which is supported by Egypt, on developing a new negotiation mechanism under AU auspices. They suggested the formation of an international quartet, led and managed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in its capacity as the current chair of the AU.
The quartet should also include the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), and the United States (US) to mediate in negotiations.
Moreover, Mufti refused the portrayal of Ethiopia by “some parties” as if it has halted the negotiation.
He added that his country has been negotiating in good faith, and “in a deep belief that we have got the right to utilise our water resources without significantly harming the downstream countries.”
Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 MW of electricity from the project. Meanwhile, Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for its freshwater, are concerned that the dam might affect their water resources.