32nd Arab League summit urges good-faith negotiations to reach deal on Ethiopia dam



Sat, 20 May 2023 - 06:59 GMT


Sat, 20 May 2023 - 06:59 GMT

A file photo for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – Twitter/Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

A file photo for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – Twitter/Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

CAIRO – 20 May 2023: Arab leaders have urged good-faith negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in order to reach balanced, fair and legally-binding agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The leaders made the remarks in a decision entitled “the Ethiopian Dam” following the 32nd Arab League summit held in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah on Friday.

Following the summit, the Arab leaders affirmed the need to reach a legally-binding agreement on GERD, which would achieve the joint interests of the three countries and preserve the water rights of each of Egypt and Sudan.

In this regard, the leaders expressed appreciation for the efforts made to conduct the negotiations on the dam under the auspices of the African Union.

The leaders expressed concern over the continued stumbling of the negotiations in light of the Ethiopian unilateral acts.

The decision called for Ethiopia to refrain from the unilateral measures that harm the water interests of Egypt and Sudan, including the continuation of the filling and operation of the dam without reaching a deal with the two downstream countries.

The leaders urged the three countries to abide by the international law principles, represented the rule of not causing water use-related harm to countries bordering transboundary rivers, the principle of fair and reasonable use of international waterways, the principle of cooperation, and the principle of prior notification and consultation.

Moreover, the leaders called for the UN Security Council to take the required measures within the framework of its responsibilities to make sure that the issue is settled peacefully.

Such measures by the Security Council should include the full implementation of the Presidential Council issued by the council in September 2021 calling for the three countries to engage in negotiations to reach an acceptable binding deal on the filling and operation of the dam within a reasonable timeframe.

The Arab leaders affirmed that the Ethiopian unilateral measures on GERD violate the applicable rules of international law, especially the Declaration of Principles (DoP) adopted by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in Khartoum in 2015.

Egypt and Sudan have been calling for Ethiopia to sign a legally-binding agreement on GERD in order to ensure the preservation of their water interests and people’s rights.

The two downstream countries have urged Ethiopia to refrain from unilateral measures with regard to the mega dam, warning of the consequences of filling and operating the dam unilaterally before a binding deal is signed.

However, Ethiopia has rejected the signing of such a deal and has continued its dam filling and operation plans over the past years. Ethiopia is also preparing to implement the fourth filling of the dam’s 74-billion-cubic-metre reservoir during the coming period despite the two countries’ objection.



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