Egypt and Sudan urge Ethiopia to negotiate seriously over giant dam
KHARTOUM (Abbaypress) – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to Sudan and Egypt agreed on Wednesday to coordinate their efforts to persuade Ethiopia to talk “seriously” on a deal to fill and operate a massive dam on the Blue Nile, according to a joint statement.
After African Union-sponsored talks broke down, the two countries downstream from the dam released a joint statement.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is Ethiopia’s dream for economic progress and power generation (GERD). Egypt is afraid that the project may jeopardize its water supply, while Sudan is concerned about its own water supplies.
The African Union’s (AU)-led talks to secure a binding accord have frequently stagnated.
Sudanese and Egyptian foreign and irrigation ministers agreed in Khartoum to “coordinate the two nations’ efforts at the regional, continental, and international levels to encourage Ethiopia to negotiate seriously,” according to a joint statement.
Both countries condemned Ethiopia’s intransigence for the breakdown of African Union-sponsored negotiations.
Ethiopia has stated that it intends to complete the second phase of dam filling in the coming rainy season, a step that Sudan and Egypt have refused prior to reaching a solid legal agreement.
Egypt and Sudan urged the international community to act “to avert risks associated with Ethiopia’s approach of attempting to impose a fait accompli on downstream countries.”
Ethiopia, which has rebuffed proposals from Egypt and Sudan to enlist mediators outside the African Union, did not respond immediately.