Sudan’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Yasser Abbas has called on Ethiopia to accept quartet mediation to reach a fair and legally binding agreement on the latter’s controversial dam.
The agreement, Abbas said, would satisfy the three countries involved in ongoing negotiations on the issue, namely Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.
He pointed out the importance of four-way mediation in converging views between the three countries, according to the Sudanese news agency, SUNA.
During a speech on Monday at the World Water Day 2021 celebration, Abbas expressed his surprise at Ethiopia’s objection to international quartet mediation. The group includes the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), and the United States (US).
“Sudan has demanded the quartet’s formation since last year, to give an opportunity for the AU experts to bridge the gap in viewpoints, but Ethiopia rejected the proposal,” he said.
Two weeks ago, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his organisation’s readiness to play a role in the ongoing negotiations over the controversial giant Ethiopian dam.
“The UN is available to support and participate in the African Union-led negotiation process on the GERD,” Guterres said in a telephone conversation with Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry.
Guterres offered the UN’s availability to mediate in the talks at the invitation of the AU Chairperson and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi.
The UN head’s offer is hopeful that the process will count on the full engagement of the parties in serious negotiations.
Moreover, the US has also expressed readiness to engage in the GERD talks if the parties agreed on that. However, Ethiopia refused to invite various parties as mediators to the talks on its controversial mega-dam.
Last week, Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dina Mufti said that his country “strongly believes that African problems can be solved through African solutions,” and that “the AU and the DRC are perfectly capable of coming up with win-win solutions to all.”