Disagreement on Renaissance Dam is solvable: Mahdi

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Tue, 28 Nov 2017 - 03:05 GMT

Fourth Arab Water Forum slogan “Destiny Sharing… Water Sharing”– Courtesy to Arab Water Council website

Fourth Arab Water Forum slogan “Destiny Sharing… Water Sharing”– Courtesy to Arab Water Council website

CAIRO – 28 November 2017: Former Sudanese Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi said on Tuesday that the technical disagreement related to the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is solvable; adding that the only way is reconciliation.

"The saved amount of Nile River water can meet the demands of the three countries (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia)," added Mahdi on the sideline of the Fourth Arab Water Forum held in Cairo, titled "Sharing Water … Sharing Destiny."

"It is not possible to adopt a limited vision, ignoring all possible gains for all parties on many levels including security, providing food, development, culture and economic diversity, as well as providing the opportunity to remedy the shortcomings of the past concerning water issues," stated Mahdi.

Mahdy added that the water problems can be solved and benefits can be achieved for all parties if the water resources and the relationship between the riparian countries are managed competently.

“In Sudan, we are fully aware that we are the neighbors of the largest Nile water consumer, which is Egypt, and the largest source of Nile water, which is Ethiopia, which imposes on Khartoum a geopolitical, humanitarian and historical responsibility and we do our best to avoid conflicts and give all our neighbors mutual trust," Mahdi explained.

Mahmoud Abu Zeid, chairman of the Arab Water Council, and the former minister of irrigation, said that the basis of the disagreement, happening in the Renaissance Dam negotiations, is the baseline that determines the share of Egypt and Sudan from Nile water according to the 1959 accord, which Addis Ababa rejects.

"Negotiations were very difficult and Ethiopia's position is not new, pointing out that the accords signed cannot be exceeded. The three countries signed an accord in December 2015 between the three presidents," added Abu Zeid.

"The 1959 accord is the scientific and technical reference of the advisory office and is based on the study and used in the mathematical models agreed by the three countries; it specifies the stages of filling the dam lake, the operating rules as well as the period of the first filling,” Abu Zeid explained.

The Arab Water Council held the Fourth Arab Water Forum from November 26-28. The forum is a tri-annual event and is considered a meeting place for AWC’s members from 22 Arab states.

The forum provides a platform to address the issues and challenges within the water sector in the region which has scarce water resources. The slogan of this edition is “Sharing Water … Sharing Destiny”, a slogan that cannot be more meaningful in any other part of the world.

The forum witnessed interactive discussions on a number of important topics that are extremely important to all water stakeholders in the region.

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