Sudan, Ethiopia reject Egypt’s globalisation of Renaissance Dam dispute
(middleeastmonitor)–A senior Sudanese official said yesterday that Khartoum agrees with Ethiopia in rejecting Egypt’s threats to internationalise the dispute over the Renaissance Dam that Addis Ababa is building.
Secretary-General of the Sudanese Energy, Mining, Electricity and Regulation Authority, Tijjani Adam, said Khartoum completely rejects the internationalisation of the Renaissance Dam issue, stressing that internationalising the dispute will not benefit the countries concerned.
“The internationalisation of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute cannot stop the project, and will only complicate things more and delay the expected solutions,” the Ethiopian News Agency reported Adam as saying.
“I support the Ethiopians’ position, because I am Muslim, and in Islam you should always look for the interests of your neighbours, but also not forget yourself either.”
Egypt Exerts Diplomatic Pressure on Ethiopia over GERD
Egypt intensified its diplomatic efforts to pressure Ethiopia to reach an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), as Addis Ababa refuses to sign the current deal.
Days after obtaining an Arab ministerial decision to support its “water rights” in the face of Addis Ababa, Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, started an Arab tour that includes 7 countries, aimed at forming an Arab safety net to support the upcoming Egyptian steps, according to observers.
On Sunday, Jordan’s King Abdullah received Shoukry, who delivered a letter from Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
During the meeting, Shoukry conveyed Sisi’s appreciation for Jordan’s support of Egypt in the Arab League’s (AL) last week meeting regarding the GERD. The meeting also tackled many regional issues, especially the Palestinian cause.
The King reiterated Jordan’s support for efforts to reach an agreement, in accordance with international law, that safeguards the rights of all stakeholders in connection to GERD, emphasizing Amman’s support for Egypt’s national security and water security rights.
After Jordan, Shoukry will visit also Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE, and he’ll handle officials letter from the President.
Observers expect the tour to mobilize Arab support behind the Egyptian stance towards the Dam.
In 2015, leaders of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia signed an initial agreement on the Dam to guarantee Egypt’s share of 55 billion cubic meters of the Nile water.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia proceeded with its project, ignoring the Egyptian warnings, and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali discussed Sunday the matter with residents of Dauru region, south of the country.
A few days ago, the Ethiopian Minister of Irrigation announced that the reservoir is expected to hold 4.9 billion cubic meter of water by the end July, followed by the power generation test in March 2021. The entire project will be completed in 2023.
Sudan, the third party in the negotiations, reiterated its support for the Ethiopian position, criticizing Cairo’s efforts to internationalize the crisis.
The Secretary-General of the Sudanese Energy, Mining, Electricity and Regulatory Authority, Tijani Adam, warned that internationalizing GERD issue cannot stop the project, and this only increases the complexity of matters and delays the solutions.
He added that the interference of other parties will complicate matters, adding that Ethiopia must resolve the differences through the tripartite talks only.
Ethiopian Agency reported that Tijani claimed Addis Ababa has the full right to use its natural resources and build its dam.
ould take its needs from the water since the origin of the river is from Ethiopia, then the rest goes to Sudan and Egypt, according to Tijani.
On Sunday, Iraqi President Barham Salih also received Shoukry in Baghdad to discuss the issue.
Shoukry expressed Egypt’s gratitude for the support Iraq gave during a recent Arab league meeting. Salih in turn put forward Baghdad’s support and understanding of Egypt’s efforts in preserving its water rights, especially as Iraq itself is a downstream country in its region.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Higher Committee for Nile Water announced on Sunday a permanent session to discuss Egypt’s position on the GERD dilemma.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly chaired the committee’s meeting which assessed the current GERD negotiations in light of Ethiopia’s “unjustified” stance.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, representatives of the defense and foreign ministries, and the General Intelligence Service.