Thu, 03 Mar 2022 - 10:18 GMT
Thu, 03 Mar 2022 - 10:18 GMT
CAIRO – 3 March 2022: Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aati said false statements about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the unilateral management of the dam confuse the water system in Egypt and Sudan.
In a meeting with Annette Weber, Special Representative for the Horn of Africa at the European Union, Abdel Aati also warned that such false statements and unilateral management will also cause harms to the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.
The meeting, attended by the EU ambassador in Cairo, sought to exchange visions regarding cooperation between Egypt and the EU in the field of water and the current status of the GERD talks.
Abdel Aati added that reaching a deal on the dam will pave the way for the achievement of cooperation and regional integration.
The water sector faces many challenges, Abdel Aati said, foremost of which are the unilateral measures of the Ethiopian side, the population increase, the negative effects of climate change and the limited water resources.
Abdel Aati also referred to the great flexibility shown by Egypt during the various stages of GERD negotiations given Egypt’s desire to reach an agreement and build confidence.
He affirmed that Egypt did not object to building dams in the Nile Basin countries, adding that over 15 dams have been constructed in the Nile Basin countries and Egypt contributed to the construction of some of them.
Achieving cooperation requires political will and seriousness from the Ethiopian side to reach an agreement regarding filling and operating the Ethiopian dam, Abdel Aati said.
The minister highlighted the need for full coordination in filling and operating major dams located on international rivers.
For her part, Weber pointed out that the European Union seeks to advance the negotiation track of GERD to reach an agreement that satisfies all parties, guarantees the stability and development of countries, and meets the requirements of regional integration.
This comes by achieving the interconnection between water, energy, infrastructure integration and trade in light of climate change, she added.
Late in February, Egypt sent a new letter to the UN Security Council after Ethiopia announced the operation of the first two turbines to generate electricity at the controversial GERD.
“The Ethiopian declaration is a unilateral measure added to the unilateral filling operations of the years 2020 and 2021,” said Egypt.
The operation of the first two turbines is another fundamental breach of the 2015 Declaration of Principles Agreement, which clearly and unequivocally requires Ethiopia to reach a legally binding agreement on the rules governing the filling and operation of the dam, before starting its filling and running process, the letter said.
The letter said that Ethiopia has refrained from conducting the required studies on the hydrological, social, economic and environmental impacts of the construction of the Dam. The letter added that Ethiopia abstained from consulting in advance with other riparian countries.
Cairo stressed that these practices are a violation of the Declaration of Principles Agreement, will have direct negative effects on Egypt's rights and interests as a riparian state, and will threaten to cause great harm to it.”
Ethiopia had stated that power generation from the dam begins on Feb. 20. That is considered a pilot phase as the filling has not reached full capacity and not all turbines have been installed.
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a brief comment on the Ethiopian announcement issued on operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) unilaterally.
Egypt underlined that the move follows the first and second fillings of the dam, also done unilaterally, which means that Ethiopia continues to violate the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed by former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.