Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan hope to conclude negotiation on the operation of and filling of Ethiopian Dam before January 15, 2020 or they will have to revoke article 10 of Deceleration of Principle Agreement singed in 2015
January 8, 2020
A day after the Ethiopian Christmas celebration on January 7, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan are holding their last round of talks in the capital Addis Ababa. The two days of the meeting will be discussing the technical aspects of filling and the operation of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, the biggest in the continent worth well over US$4billion
Apart from water ministers from the three countries, representatives from the World Bank and from the government of the United States of America are attending the event.
The Ministers expressed their hope that the negotiation will bring about a fruitful result, according to a report by Ethiopian News Agency.
Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s Water, Irrigation and Electric Minister, is cited as saying that Ethiopia adhered to transparency as a principle since the beginning of the project and that it has sent nearly 150 documents to assure lower riparian countries that the project will not entail any damage.
Emphasizing that Ethiopia’s intention in the project is economic and that it is pursuing it in a way that the three countries are all winners, he added.
Seleshi said that the committee that is dealing with the matter needs to be free from political interference so as to reach a desirable agreement.
Egyptian Water Minister, Mohamed Abdel Aty, on his part, expresses his good wishes to Ethiopians on the occasion of Ethiopian Christmas and said: “It is important to resolve differences from the previous negotiation forums.”
ENA cited him as saying that Egypt is experiencing a water shortage and needs the dam to be handled in a way that does not harm Egypt and negatively impact the Aswan Dam.
Sudan is on the same page with Ethiopia. Sudanese Water Minister, Yasir Abas, sees the importance of wrapping up the technical talk regarding filling and operation of the dam in a way that takes into consideration the benefits of the three countries and in a spirit of cooperation.
There has been a report that Egypt is becoming a little flexible in the negotiation but Egypt has dismissed that it is not moving away an inch from the position it has been advancing including 40 billion cubics of water every year and to maintain Aswan Dam at 165 meters above the ground. Ethiopia rejected Egypt’s position in the past on grounds that it violates its sovereignty.
In November 2019, the three countries reached an agreement in Washington to resolve disputes on the operation and filling of the Dam by January 15, 2020, or invoke article 10 of the Declaration of Principle Agreement which was signed in 2015.
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