Ethiopia will commence the second filling of its massive Blue Nile dam in July as planned, in order to avoid any losses to the country, the country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has revealed.
“Ethiopia has absolutely no desire whatsoever to cause harm to Egypt, nor to Sudan,” Ahmed added during his speech before the Ethiopian parliament, on Tuesday.
He said that, despite Ethiopia’s contribution of more than 80% of the River Nile’s water, it seeks to store only 5% of the rainfall which will not come from the main river course.
Meanwhile, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dina Mufti said that Ethiopia believes that the dialogue led by the African Union (AU) over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will commence soon.
This is set to take place under the leadership of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is currently serving as the AU President.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Mufti said that Ethiopia sees no need for forming and involving an international Quartet in the GERD talks, noting that its proposal “has never been officially submitted to Ethiopia”.
Mufti said, “Ethiopia remains confident that the AU-led negotiations over the GERD are an ongoing process that will provide win-win solutions to the negotiating parties.”
The latest statements by Ethiopian officials affirm the country’s position relating to the talks over its controversial dam. Meanwhile, the other two countries involved in the negotiations, namely Egypt and Sudan, have several comments on its constructions, filling, and operation process.
On Monday, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty said that the controversial Ethiopian dam, and its impact on River Nile waters, is one of the major challenges facing Egypt now.
Abdel Aaty added that Ethiopia’s unilateral measures with regard to filling and operating the GERD will cause negative repercussions that Egypt would never accept.
Moreover, Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasser Abbas called on Ethiopia to accept the quartet mediation to reach a fair and legal agreement. This would satisfy the three countries involved in Ethiopia’s controversial dam’s issue.
Proposed by Sudan and agreed by Egypt, the quartet mediation includes the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the United States (US), and the African Union (AU). However, Ethiopia has firmly rejected the proposal.