Egypt wants to see change in the role of international observers in the African Union led negotiation when it starts again although it has changed its position regarding GERD second filling
Egypt and Sudan have been insisting for a binding agreement with Ethiopia before GERD Second filling which is scheduled to take place in the rainy months of July and August. Ethiopia has been rejecting the requirement to sign a binding agreement for the upcoming filing saying that it violates the agreement in the Declaration of Principles which was signed in 2015.
As it turns out, Egypt is changing its stand in that regard. Egyptian Foreign Minister ,Sameh Shoukry, said GERD Second filing will not have a negative impact on Egyptian water supply.
In an interview with Egyptian TV host, Nashat al-Dehi, Mr. Shoukry said “We have confidence that the second filling of the dam will not affect Egyptian interests,” as reported by Egypt Independent.
Egypt is thinking in terms of what he called “tight” water management in the country. Sudan has not yet reacted to the remark by Egyptian Foreign Minister about Ethiopia’s upcoming filling. So too Ethiopia.
However, Egypt does seem to hope for a change in the role of international observers in the AU-led negotiation.
Egypt Independent quoted the Foreign Minister as saying “Egypt is awaiting an invitation from the Presidency of the African Union to hold the Union’s office in the presence of the parties to make a decision that will lead to another opportunity to the negotiation process, through a new framework that involves more effective participation by international observers, which will contribute to converging views together to develop solutions towards reaching an agreement.”
The last round of the negotiation between the three countries (Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan) in early April failed after Egypt and Sudan pushed for changing the role of international observers namely the United States, United Nations and the European Union.
African Union current chairman, Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, recently visited the three countries to meet with authorities to discuss the next step of the negotiation.
Ethiopia aims to hold 13.8 billion cubic meters of water during the GERD Second filing – which is said to be adequate to start initial hydroelectric power with two turbines.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia on Wednesday announced that it has completed installation of a 650 kilometers long power transmission line for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
It stretches from the project site at Guba to the central power station in Holeta. In terms of project completion, the civil part of the construction has reached about 91.8 percent according to information from the Water, Irrigation and Energy Ministry. However, the electromechanical aspect of the project is still at 54.5 percent.
The overall project progress is said to be 80 percent completed. Ethiopia is working on to start power generation as early as the rainy seasons of July and August following GERD second filing.
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