Egypt’s proposal to invite a third party in the discussion regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is an unwarranted denial of the progress in the trilateral technical dialogue, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.
The proposal violates the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles signed by the three countries on 23 March 2015, it said in a statement issued after the meeting held between the Water Affairs Ministers of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt on 4 and 5 October in Khartoum, Sudan.
The statement further said “It also goes against the consent and wishes of Ethiopia and the Sudan; it negatively affects the sustainable cooperation between the Parties; undermines the ample opportunity for technical dialogue between the three countries; and disrupts the positive spirit of cooperation.”
Additionally, the proposal to subject the discussion on filling and operation of the GERD to a political forum is unjustified by the nature of the outstanding technical issues, it said.
It also contravenes the direction given by the leaders of the three countries given to the Water Affairs Ministers to resolve the technical issues related to filling and operation of the Dam, it will also not allow attainment of a successful resolution of the technical issues, the statement added.
Ethiopia believes the existing mechanisms of cooperation will allow resolution of differences and reminds the need to refrain from negative media and other campaigns that will have no other effect than eroding the confidence among the three countries, it said.
“The Government of Ethiopia will reinforce its efforts to realize development of its water resource to meet the present and future needs of its people that deserve development and adequate standard of living.”
Ethiopia upholds the principles of equitable and reasonable utilization and the causing of no significant harm on any other riparian country in the use of the waters of the Nile, the statement indicated.
Furthermore, Ethiopia will continue to follow an approach that will not result in direct or indirect recognition of any preexisting water allocation treaty, which has no applicability whatsoever on Ethiopia, it noted.