Hamdok says Sisi keen to express seriousness of GERD issue to world

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Wed, 05 May 2021 - 01:53 GMT

FILE: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok - Reuters

FILE: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok - Reuters

CAIRO – 5 May 2021: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said he thinks President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was keen to express the seriousness of the Ethiopian dam issue to the world, commenting on Sisi’s earlier remarks that “all options are open” regarding the dam.

Sisi urged Ethiopia in April to cooperate with Egypt on the water file, as collapse of rounds of negotiations to reach a legally-binding agreement on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been blamed on Ethiopia’s intransigence.

Sisi said: “I tell our Ethiopian brothers: we should not reach the level that you mess with a water drop in Egypt, because all options are open.”

Hamdok in a video call with CNN said the issues that are related to the GERD are very serious, noting that his country is also keen to express to the rest of the world the seriousness of this issue.

“It is timebound and it is linked to the safety and security of millions of our people in both Sudan and Egypt and I think we would like the rest of the world to understand the gravity of the situation,” Hamdok said.

This comes amid Ethiopia’s insistence to complete the dam filling in July despite objections by Egypt and Sudan about filling the dam before an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam is reached.

Hamdok said the issues that are related to GERD are soluble and “can be easily resolve them in a matter of weeks.”

“I think we would like to see this resolved within the remit of the international law.”

Asked about why Sudan has altered its position from supporting the GERD building at the beginning, Hamdok said the dam is beneficial for Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia only under a binding deal.

“The dam brings a lot of benefits to the three countries … But for these benefits to materialize, we have to reach a binding agreement,” Hamdok said.

He added that a binding deal “would allow us to plan our life to be able to utilize the water that is coming from the dam in a way that will allow agriculture production, the livelihood and all that.”

Hamdok warned: “Without this agreement, we will always be in the mercy of Ethiopia to give it (water) today and close it tomorrow. This is why we are asking for a binding agreement within the international law.”

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