SMA NEWS – Ethiopia
The Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan held a closed meeting on Monday over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
President Felix Tshisekedi, who took over the chair of the African Union in February, is hosting a three-day meeting between the three parties in hope to reach a just agreement on the dam dispute.
Egypt says the meeting is the “last chance” to re-launch talks before the dam is filled for the second year in a row.
Both Cairo and Khartoum demand a legally binding agreement on the GERD’s filling and operation to guarantee their water rights.
Egypt fears it will imperil its supplies of Nile water, while Sudan is concerned about the dam’s safety and about regulating water flows through its dams and water stations.
Meanwhile, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Addis Ababa insists on filling the dam either in July or after reaching a binding agreement with the other parties.
Addis Ababa, however, refuses to commit to any agreement that limits its ability to develop its resources and plans, according to the sources.
It has been ignoring Khartoum’s warnings about the threats posed by GERD’s unilateral filling on the lives of citizens and water installations, SUNA quoted Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi as saying.
Mahdi urged Ethiopia to avoid any “pointless conflicts.”
For nearly a decade, talks among the three countries over the operation and filling of GERD have faltered.
Addis Ababa finished in July 2020 the first phase of filling the reservoir, in preparation for its operation, and announced going ahead with the second filling in July.