Egypt’s Indulgence in Dual Approach to Negotiation Offending Ethiopia

Ethiopia gets it why it is so; Egypt wants to continue the monopoly of the Nile water with the 1959 colonial era arrangement. Ethiopia sees no way other than mutual benefit

borkena
June 16, 2020

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew said on Tuesday that Egypt continues to have inappropriate dual approaches to the tripartite talk.

As the talk between the three countries (Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan) continues for the sixth day focusing on the first stage of filling and the annual operation of the Dam, Egypt is engaged in what the Foreign Minister described as “unethical activities” outside of the negotiation process.

“They are part of the negotiation, but they are also reaching out to various international organizations[only with their own narrative of the situation],” Gedu said in an explanation to his claim that Egypt is not in the tripartite talk wholeheartedly. The United Nations Security Council is among the organizations that Egypt is resorting to in order to score a point against Ethiopia while being part of tripartite negotiation.

He also accused Egypt of sabotaging Ethiopia’s development efforts in different ways. “No agreement has been reached with Egypt; their interest is to implement the 1959 agreement,” he added.

Reiterating that Ethiopia is financing the project with local sources by mobilizing the public and noting that the country contributes to over 86 percent of the Nile Water, he said that Egypt, a country that has nothing to offer – in his words, is not ready to accept what it is offered.

He also emphasized that Ethiopia firmly believes in mutual benefit and is relentlessly working to ensure that the negotiation is successful.  

On the other hand, he hailed the role Sudan played for the resumption of the tripartite talk.  

He remarked so during a news conference with local journalists in which he shared developments during the first five days of negotiation between the three counties.

During the fifth day of negotiation, which is about the first stage of filling and the annual operation of the dam, Ethiopia clarified its position regarding the drought situation. Experts and activists have been campaigning that Ethiopia cannot and should not be burdened with a commitment to provide water in the event of drought.

It seems to be the case that Ethiopian negotiators get the point that experts are making. From the latest press release from the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy, Ethiopia made it clear the negotiating parties have a shared responsibility in the event of drought. “Ethiopia underlined the need to follow an approach that ensures the joint responsibility of the three countries in the incidence of drought while preserving the optimal operation of the GERD,” the statement said.

The green project, which partly aims to maintain ecological balance in the country, is underway for the second time. The leaders believe that the project is relevant to the Grand Renaissance Dam project.



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