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Washington Discussion : Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan reached agreement

  • Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have now agreed to continue discussion and reach final agreement on the disputes regarding the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam by January 15 or invoke article 10 of the Deceleration of Principle Agreement
  • The United States and The World Bank will take part in the discussions to come as “observers” and in a “support” role
Ethiopia _ Egypt _ Agreement _ Washington Discussion
Photo credit : United States’ Department of the Treasury

November 6, 2019

Ethiopia’s Minister for Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele, disclosed on Wednesday that the three countries have reached an agreement, at the “discussion,” in Washington DC, to continue tripartite discussion on the filling and operation of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam which is said to be worth over US $4 billion. 

He tweeted :
“Pleased to reach a consensus to continue the trilateral technical discussions on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). See details @fitsumaregaa @PMEthiopia @mfaethiopia.”  

Ethiopia _ Egypt _ Sudan _ United States _ The World Bank
Participants of the “Washington Discussion”( Foreign Affairs Ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan- among others) posing for pictures with US president Donald Trump. Photo : From the twitter page of US President Donald Trump

Earlier, US president Donald Trump tweeted,
“Just had a meeting with top representatives from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to help solve their long running dispute on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, one of the largest in the world, currently being built. The meeting went well and discussions will continue during the day!”

The parties who held the discussion, including the “facilitators”, The United States and The World Bank, have issued a joint statement.  United States’ Department of the Treasury has published it and it reads as follows: 

“WASHINGTON, D.C. – The foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and their delegations met with the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on November 6, 2019.  The ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to reach a comprehensive, cooperative, adaptive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and to establish a clear process for fulfilling that commitment in accordance with the 2015 Declaration of Principles.

The foreign ministers noted their agreement to hold four technical governmental meetings at the level of water ministers.  The ministers agreed that the World Bank and the United States would support and attend the meetings as observers. The ministers also agreed to work toward completion of an agreement by January 15, 2020, and would attend two meetings in Washington, D.C. on December 9, 2019 and January 13, 2020, to assess and support progress.  If an agreement is not reached by January 15, 2020, the foreign ministers agree that Article 10 of the 2015 Declaration of Principles will be invoked.

The foreign ministers reaffirmed the significance of the Nile to the development of the people of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, the importance of transboundary cooperation, and their shared interest in concluding an agreement.”

As pointed out in the joint statement, one of the key issues agreed upon  is that representatives of the United States government and The World Bank will attend the remaining government level discussions between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Another key point in the statement is that the parties have agreed to the proposal that the United States and The World Bank “would support” the discussions to come here after. What exactly is their support role is unclear.

Still what seems to be a problematic point is that the agreement puts a deadline for the finalization of the discussion between the disputing parties. They now have to finalize discussions and reach an agreement  by January 15. 

Discussion is scheduled for December 9, 2019 and January 13, 2010 which will take place in Washington again, not in Africa. 

What will happen if no agreement is reached by January 15? The parties have agreed to lean on invoking Article 10 of the Declaration of Principles which means that the parties will seek mediation. 

The last tripartite talk between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan was held in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, in early October but no agreement was reached as Ethiopia rejected Egyptian proposal on grounds  that Egypt intends to impose its own terms of agreement which Ethiopia said was in violation of its sovereignty. Among the Egyptian proposal was for Egypt to open an office near Ethiopian Dam project site to monitor the operation and filling of the Dam.

Related : Ethiopia rejects Egypt’s proposal on Renaissance Dam as it infringes on sovereignty

It was after the disagreement that Egypt called for an international mediation blaming Ethiopia for the failure of Khartoum meeting in early October. Ethiopia’s reaction, and position, was that the talks between the three countries should continue without the intervention of other mediator or mediators which seems to be in the spirit of the Declaration of Principles agreement that was signed in 2015.

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  1. The current low human development rank of Ethiopia making Ethiopia the country with 38th worst quality in Africa according to the Human Development Index / HDI
    is about to Sprint into medium human development HDI rank due to the current institutionalized Ethiopian political reforms and the institutionalized Ethiopian economic reforms that are chosen to help sprint the current rank of 38 HDI out of the 53 African countries.

    Ethiopia is 15th from the country with the lowest HDI in Africa Niger while Eritrea ranked 43 HDI being the10th country from Niger the country with the lowest HDI human development index rank

    • Ethiopia’s institutionalized political reforms and economic reforms will Sprint forward the human development index (HDI) rank of the country .

  2. Algbachihum, alamaw ebakachihu. Yezarew ye alem poletika, awo malet aydelem, aydelem malet awo malet niw, tegabitosh. ityopian tederadariwoch ager selam niw bilew simelesu lela hono yitebikachewal.

  3. Good news. No one will benefit from escalating the dispute. Macho man attitude ain’t gonna work. Macho man is only good in the ring doing the wrestling stuff and Randy is dead and long gone. Ok Egypt!! Back to your seat!!!

    But this is really bad news for the ‘Republic’ mongering bigots. Now el-Sisi may be forced to hold back the bread crumbs on you. He is the only one who can read your sick mind!!!

  4. Ethnicity is not the enemy in Ethiopians. The culprit is poverty and the enemy of all Ethiopians and everyone must think beyond the current backward politics of Jawar and OLF like mentalities.

    Ethiopia must and has the right to use its own water to help alleviate poverty on its people and help neighboring countries. Egypt is selfishly fighting for itself and supports rebel groups like OLF and TPLF who are selling their country for their own demise while Egypt is enjoying wealth and economical growth it is getting from the untapped Nile River.!!

    This meeting did not happened suddenly but a well thought out plot against Ethiopia. It is imperative that every Ethiopian must get wise, educate themselves how important it is for all and know how fight back for their country and people.

    The Abiy government should not have accepted the request for the meeting and now it is too late they must stand firm against Egypt greedy evil plan and Arab countries, groups it supports to plot evil against Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

  5. I don’t know where you got your facts, as far as I know the GERD dam construction total cost is expected to be over than $6.4 Biliions of USD dollars.

    More than $4 Billions of USD dollars had already been spent so far with 60% of the construction or over a half of the construction being completed so far.

    In the future 40% of the construction is yet to be completed. Ethiopia will most likely need to borrow money from Egypt to finish the remaining 40% of the Construction.

  6. For so long Ethiopia had been fed lies after lies. It is time right now to bring out the truth about the cause of death of the late PM Meles Zenawi, his cause of death need to be brought out since it makes a huge difference for the talks Ethiopia , Sudan and Egypt are having.

  7. Many are saying Meles was killed because he started investigating the sabotage looting corruption that was being done right under his nose by his wife Azeb Mesfin’s team, with many including Debretsion , METEC , Effort , Salini Co. ,Messobo Cement Factory and other individuals that fell under the corruption sabotage spell of Azeb Mesfin at the time, he was investigating them because their scale of corruption sabotaging looting was threatening the dam’s existence , ever being able to be built with internationally required quality standard.
    Remember in early 2010 Gilgel Gibe 2 hydropower plant tunnel collapsed days after inauguration on January the 13th 2010 . The Gilgel Gibe 2 dam collapsed after a huge profile inauguration ceremony attended by the late PM Meles Zenawi himself celebrating Gilgel Gibe 2 hydroelectric powerplant’s grand opening on January the 13th , 2010 , only for it to collapse days later.


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