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News: Ethiopia accuses Egypt of “erecting roadblocks” as fourth round GERD talks fail

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt in Cairo on 12 July, 2023 (Photo: Abiy Ahmed Ali/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – Ethiopia said the fourth round of trilateral talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and the Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has failed as a result of Egypt “maintaining colonial era mentality” and “erecting roadblocks against efforts toward convergence”.

“The negotiations on the guidelines and rules on the first filing and annual operation of the GERD is meant to enhance confidence and build trust among the three countries. It is not meant to foreclose Ethiopia’s rights on the utilization of the waters of the Nile,” a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. 

“Ethiopia would, thus, like to make it abundantly clear that it will continue to utilize its water resources to meet the needs of the present and future generations based on the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization,” it added.

Ethiopia further accused Egypt of issuing a statement, following the two-day talks in Addis Abeba between 17-19 December 2023, that violates the UN Charter and the Constitutive Act of the African Union, and rejected the misrepresentation of its positions by Egypt.

In a statement issued through its Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt said “the meeting was unsuccessful due to Ethiopia’s persistent refusal … to accept any of the technical or legal compromise solutions that would safeguard the interests of all three countries”.

The statement added that “Egypt reserves its right, in accordance with international charters and accords, to defend its water and national security in case of any harm”.

According to the statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the talks conducted since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Abdel Fatah el Sisi of Egypt agreed on 13 July 2023 to finalize the rules and guidelines on the first filing and annual operation of the GERD within four months, have helped the three countries to have an in-depth discussion on the major issues of difference.

During the four rounds of talks, Ethiopia said it “endeavored and engaged with the two lower riparian countries to address the major issues of difference and reach an amicable agreement” based on the Declaration of Principles agreement of 2015 signed by the three countries.

Ethiopia expressed commitment to continue the talks to find an amicable and negotiated settlement that addresses the interests of the three countries. AS

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