Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Egypt, Sudan block progress of GERD Talks: Minister of Water Irrigation and Energy Sileshi Bekele (PhD)

Egypt and Sudan have made unconstructive attempts to block the progress of African Union-led negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in the latest round of talks in Kinshasa, Minister of Water Irrigation and Energy said.
In a press conference he gave yesterday, the minister Seleshi Bekele (PhD) stated that due to Egypt and Sudan’s negative approach towards AU-led negotiations, the Kinshasa’s deliberation was ended with no progress being made.
The two countries have also made attempts to disrupt AU’s efforts to discharge its entrusted responsibility of seeking African solutions to Africa’s problems.

The minister further stated that Egypt and Sudan deliberately employed a strategy to hamper the progress of the talks whilst their request to the removal of South Africa from its observer status is not suited to AU’s status as a continental body. In Kinshasa, both Egypt and Sudan were mainly concerned to alter the negotiation’s procedure and they were mesmerized by how to conduct the talks rather than engaged in constructive dialogue.
“Ethiopia made it clear to negotiating parties that the second-year filling of the GERD reservoir would be carried out as scheduled and the country cannot enter into an agreement that would foreclose its current and future legitimate rights over the utilization of Nile waters.”

Noting Ethiopia’s readiness to facilitate data and information exchange on the filling of the dam, the water minister indicated that the country will not give a consideration to proposals that aim to ensure the exclusive rights of a single party over natural resources.
Seleshi highlighted that the Ethiopian delegation extensively briefed participants of the Kinshasa meeting on Sudan’s baseless allegation about GERD’s safety issues and its negative impact on the former’s dams and water stations. Sudan’s strategy to delay the progress of the AU-led GERD talks, which is backed by Egypt, aimed to change the current observers and modify the course of the deliberation thus it is refused by the Ethiopian side.

Consensus was reached to South Africa, United States and European Union to maintain their observer status whilst their positive contribution in the GERD talks would be enhanced. It is planned to finalize the tripartite negotiation within eight weeks and the next meeting would be held under the direction of the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the minister remarked.

By Chala Dandessa

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