Egypt and Sudan wants the United States and the European Union to have a mediator role in the AU led negotiation
A day after issuing a statement that entirely rejected a decision from Arab League which expressed intent to take the GERD issue to the United Nations Security Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia accuses Egypt and Sudan over making progress on GERD talk difficult.
“It is the intransigence of both Egypt and Sudan, which has made it extremely difficult to make any meaningful progress in the tripartite negotiation,” said spokesperson of the Ministry, Dina Mufti, during a biweekly press briefing on Wednesday.
The Arab League , which met in Qatar on Tuesday, asserted that Nile is an existential matter for Arab League States and called on the United Nations Security Council to intervene in the GERD talk to make Ethiopia sign a binding agreement before undertaking the second phase of filling which is scheduled to take place starting next month – which is when Ethiopia’s heavy rainy season starts.
Ethiopia sees the move by the Arab League as a ” futile attempt to internationalize and politicize the GERD will not lead to sustainable regional cooperation in the utilization and management of the Nile.”
The argument that Ethiopia has been making at the United Nations is that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is a development project and does not merit UNSC intervention, as Ethiopia has committed itself to a fair use of the water without compromising the principle of equity.
Furthermore, Ethiopia wants the Arab League member states that “utilization of the Nile waters is also an existential matter for Ethiopia too.” Over 65 percent of Ethiopia’s population does not have access to electric power and Ethiopia’s policy to get out of poverty is hinged on, among other things, making electric power accessible to the public, and for businesses intending to invest in the manufacturing sector which Ethiopia hopes that it will create much needed jobs for huge unemployed workforce in the country.
Egypt and Sudan, both members of the Arab League States, have been pushing for a binding agreement before Ethiopia undertakes the second phase of the dam filling, and they actually initiated the latest meeting by Arab League. Binding agreement is rejected on the part of Ethiopia on grounds that the Declaration of Principle agreement which was signed in 2015 does not require Ethiopia to sign a binding agreement to fill the dam.
Ethiopia has entirely rejected latest Arab League decision.