Addis Abeba, March 06/2020 – Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs releases a statement in which Ethiopia “notes with dismay the “Resolution” of the Executive Council of the Arab League concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issued on 05 March 2020.”
At the end of its 153rd session, the Arab League Council issued a resolution in which it rejected any form of “infringement of Egypt’s historical rights to the waters of the River Nile.”
The Arab League has 22 member states: they are, in alphabetical order: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It also has four observers: Brazil, Eritrea, India and Venezuela.
However, so far, Sudan is the only country out of the 22 which declined to sign on the resolution. “The Sudanese side argued that such a joint statement is not in the best interest of Sudan and the Arab League’s intervention in the issue could further strain Arab-Ethiopian relations,” according to Alarabiya newspaper.
In the statement this morning Ethiopia rejected the “Resolution” in its entirety. “This “Resolution” gives blind support to a member state without taking into consideration key facts at the center of the GERD talks,” the statement said.
In the same statement, Ethiopia has commended Sudan’s refusal to sign the resolution and praised it for demonstrating “once again” its position of “being a voice of reason and justice.” “Ethiopia expresses its profound appreciation to Sudan’s principled position that helps advance win-win solutions for all the parties involved, through a commitment to open dialogue.”
It is to be recalled that a similar resolution of support from the members of the Arab Parliament has prompted a letter written by Tagesse Chafo, Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) and addressed to Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami, Speaker of the Arab Parliament. In the letter, exclusively obtained by Addis Standard, Speaker Tagesses said that it was “very unfortunate that the Arab Parliament chose to express its resolve to stand by Egypt’s historical rights on the Nile waters while it has remained silent on the rights, of Ethiopia – a country that is the source of more than 85 percent of the Nile waters.” (Please see copy of the letter here). AS
Please click here to see or read the full statement from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs below:
06 March 2020
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia notes with dismay the “Resolution” of the Executive Council of the Arab League concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issued on 05 March 2020. Ethiopia rejects the “Resolution” in its entirety. This “Resolution” gives blind support to a member state without taking into consideration key facts at the center of the GERD talks.
Ethiopia, however, commends the stance taken by the Government of the Republic of the Sudan for refusing to endorse the “Resolution” of the Arab League. Sudan has once again demonstrated its position of being a voice of reason and justice in the latest orchestrated so-called “Arab League position” on the GERD. Ethiopia expresses its profound appreciation to Sudan’s principled position that helps advance win-win solutions for all the parties involved, through a commitment to open dialogue.
Ethiopia’s relations with the peoples’ and governments of member states of the Arab League are longstanding based on common values, deep rooted cultural ties and traditions. The relationship demonstrated the power of justice in the face of adversity, sanctuary in the face of persecution, cooperation at the time of need, and friendly relations during alienation. As an institution composed of sovereign countries, the League is expected to follow an approach that allows an accurate representation of facts and balances all interests involved. When acting contrary to this norm, the credibility of the League and its ability to promote peace, stability, and cooperation in the increasingly globalized world is at risk.
Ethiopia reiterates its longstanding and firm position as expressed by successive governments that it “has the right to use its Nile water resources to meet the needs of the present and future generations.” As the Nile is a transboundary water resource Ethiopia is committed to the principles of equitable and reasonable use, not causing significant harm and that of cooperation. We firmly believe that through continued open and transparent dialogue there is great potential to arrive at an amicable solution. Hegemonic posturing is unproductive and need not have a place in our interdependent global order.
Ethiopia is also firmly committed to the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles (DoP) which provides the basis for the first filling and annual operation of the GERD. The DoP provides that first filling will be done in parallel with the construction of the GERD.
Finally, Ethiopia is confident that the Arab League will live up to the standard of objectivity and the longstanding relations and common values in its engagements with Ethiopia. We look forward to a strengthened partnership and to work closely on common goals.