Sudan voices reservation over Arab FMs’ draft resolution on GERD

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Sun, 08 Mar 2020 - 11:00 GMT

Fiel- Arab League meeting

Fiel- Arab League meeting

CAIRO - 8March 2020: State-owned news agency MENA reported that Sudan voiced its reservation regarding a draft resolution issued by the Arab Council for Foreign Ministers on its support to Egypt and Sudan in their dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

"Drafted by Egypt, the resolution has been submitted to the council,welcomed and agreed upon by the Sudanese delegation ahead of the153rdsession of the Arab foreign ministers' ministerial council," anonymous sources told MENA.

The sources added that Sudan expressed its reservation on the draft resolution as it contradicts with its interests, adding that Sudan’s representatives asked to not put Sudan in the draft resolution. “The Arab league should not be involved in this file,” the Sudanese side was quoted as saying by the news agency.

"The attending delegations were surprised by the Sudanese stance," the sources said, noting that the draft resolution turned to focus on Egypt only.

During the session, the foreign ministers rejected violating the Egyptian and Sudanese historic rights of the Nile Water, saying that Egyptian and Sudanese water security is an integral part of the Arab national security.

The foreign ministers affirmed their rejection of the Ethiopian move of filling the dam’s reservoir without reaching a final agreement among the three Nile basin countries.

Foreign Minister SamehShoukry described the recent Ethiopian statements regarding filling the Renaissance Dam as politically and legally unacceptable as well as surprising.

Ethiopia had announced that it would continue to build the Renaissance Dam and fill the reservoir, regardless of the interests of the other countries.

The Ethiopian announcement came in response to the American statement, which emphasized that the final trial and the filling of the Renaissance Dam's reservoir should not be carried out without reaching a joint agreement between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

On March 1, 2020, Egypt slammed the Ethiopian government after the latter criticized the final round of U.S.andWB-brokered negotiations on the GERD.

In a joint statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, the Egyptian government expresseduneaseover a statement issued by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Irrigation and Energy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, in which Ethiopia announced that it will fill the GERD’s reservoir despite the U.S. warning of taking action without an agreement with the downstream countries.

The difference between the three Nile basin countries dates back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building the dam; Egypt voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters]. Three years later, a series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan began to reach an agreement while Ethiopia continued the dam construction.

In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam. Since then, the talks have been resumed, but In October 2019 blamed Addis Ababa for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem, calling for activating the Article No. 10 of the Declaration of Principles, which stipulates that if the three countries could not find a solution to these differences, they have to ask for mediation.

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