Sisi sends King Abdullah II message on Ethiopia’s dam
CAIRO – 8 March 2020: (egypttoday)—President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi sent a message to Jordanian King Abdullah II on the recent stalemate between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Hafez in a statement.
The message was delivered by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who embarked on a tour to some Arab countries, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman Sultanate.
Shoukry voiced Egypt’s gratitude to the Hashemite Kingdom for its support to Egypt regarding the file of the Renaissance Dam during the 153rd session of the Arab Council for Foreign Ministers on March 4, 2020.
“King Abdullah II expressed his country’s support to Egypt to preserve its water security,” Hafez added, noting that the Egyptian foreign minister and King Abdullah discussed the bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern.
“The meeting affirmed that Egypt and Jordan will continue high-level coordination and consultation, in light of their distinguished and fraternal ties. His Majesty asked to convey his greetings to President Sisi. The meeting tackled a number of regional issues and files, especially the Palestinian cause, and the overall regional situation,” Hafez said.
During the Arab meeting, the foreign ministers rejected violating the Egyptian and Sudanese historic rights of the Nile Water, saying that Egyptian and Sudanese water security is an integral part of the Arab national security.
The foreign ministers affirmed their rejection of the Ethiopian move of filling the dam’s reservoir without reaching a final agreement with Egypt and Sudan.
Ethiopia had announced that it would continue to build the Renaissance Dam and fill the reservoir, regardless of the interests of the other countries.
The Ethiopian announcement came in response to the American statement, which emphasized that the final trial and the filling of the Renaissance Dam’s reservoir should not be carried out without reaching a joint agreement among Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.
On March 1, 2020, Egypt slammed the Ethiopian Government after the latter criticized the final round of U.S.and WB-brokered negotiations on the GERD.
In a joint statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, the Egyptian government expressed unease over a statement issued by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Irrigation and Energy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, in which Ethiopia announced that it will fill the GERD’s reservoir, despite the U.S. warning against taking action without an agreement with the downstream countries.
The difference between the three Nile basin countries dates back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building the dam; Egypt voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters]. Three years later, a series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan began to reach an agreement while Ethiopia continued the dam construction.
In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam. Since then, the talks have been resumed, but In October 2019 blamed Addis Ababa for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem, calling for activating the Article No. 10 of the Declaration of Principles, which stipulates that if the three countries could not find a solution to these differences, they have to ask for mediation.