Egypt stalls dam talks with Ethiopia and Sudan Egyptian president indirectly warns Ethiopia
Egypt stalls dam talks with Ethiopia and Sudan
Tigrai Online, Nov. 19 2017
CAIRO: Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn confirmed his county’s determination to complete the Renaissance Dam on schedule during a recent visit to Qatar.
However Egypt has announced that it is studying the necessary measures to protect its water rights after Ethiopia and Sudan refrained from signing a preliminary report submitted by the French Consultative Office on the dam’s impact on Egypt.
“The current status of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations is alarming given that water security is a key component of Egypt’s national security and harming it is not an option,” said the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry.
He said, “Egypt will seek to overcome the complexity of negotiations through reaching out to Ethiopia and Sudan as well as the rest of the Nile countries and the international community.”
In a joint press conference with his Tunisian and Algerian counterparts in Cairo on Wednesday, Shoukry said, “Egypt did not expect the technical course of the GERD negotiations to take so long and become so complicated.”
“Egypt is committed to the tripartite framework agreement signed by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia and believes it is enough to govern the relations of the three countries and respect international law with respect to international rivers,” he said. “The aim of the technical negotiations was to achieve common interests, but this never happened.”
Egypt’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati said that the 17th meeting of the Tripartite National Technical Committee, which brought together the Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian ministers of water in Cairo on Nov. 11 and 12, did not result in any agreement on the adoption of the introductory technical report submitted by the French consultancy firm hired to conduct impact studies of the dam on the downstream countries.
After the technical committee’s meeting on Nov. 12, Abdel Ati said that although Egypt had initially approved the introductory report in light of the fact that it was consistent with the studies’ references on which the three countries agreed, the committee’s two other parties did not approve the report and demanded amendments that were beyond the agreed-on references and that to reinterpret basic and pivotal provisions in a way that affects the studies’ outcomes made its content of no value.
The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced the stalling of all technical talks with Ethiopia and Sudan on Monday.
“The reasons for the dispute over the introductory report is the so-called baseline, which sets Egypt’s share of the Nile’s water at 55.5 billion cubic meters and Sudan’s share at 18.5 billion cubic meters, and this is unacceptable for Ethiopia, which does not recognize the 1959 Nile Waters Agreement that specified water allocations to Egypt and Sudan,” said Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, President of the Arab Water Council and former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation.
Below is how the Sudanese see the issue:
The Sudanese ambassador denied that Sudan had introduced amendments to the introductory report, as said in the statement of the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and said: “It was Egypt that added several references and amendments to the report since the first meeting, not Sudan, and, contrary to what the statement reflected, all meetings were held in a friendly, harmonious atmosphere.”
Source: Arab News ;Read more
TOL's view on the timing of Egyptian renewed hostility
Egyptian rattling is not new they have been threatening Ethiopia for many years in different means. What is different this time is the timing of their threat. For the past few years the rhetoric from Egyptian politicians and media has been declining, but now they are renewing their propaganda why? Notice what is flaring up in Ethiopia at the same time, the anti peace forces in southern Ethiopia.