Thu, 23 Jul 2020 - 04:20 GMT
A handout satellite image shows a view of the GERD and the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia June 26, 2020. Picture taken June 26, 2020. Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies via REUTERS
CAIRO- 23 July 2020: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk highlighted the necessity of reaching a comprehensive and binding agreement on filling and operating the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to pave the way for future cooperation in the eastern Nile region, the Sudanese news agency SUNA reported on Thursday.
The Sudanese prime minister called on the disputed parties [Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia] to refrain from taking any unilateral measures that would negatively affect the negotiations led by the African Union.
On Wednesday, Hamdouk ordered to form a committee under his chairmanship to follow the file of the GERD.
His comments came after a mini-summit convened on Tuesday between Hamdouk, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. During the summit, Ethiopia recognized that the first phase of filling the dam was conducted due to the heavy rainfall this year.
Sudanese Minister of Irrigation Yasser Abbas said that it was agreed at the mini-African summit, which was held on Tuesday, to continue negotiations to overcome the points of contention over the Renaissance Dam.
The Egyptian-Sudanese-Ethiopian mini-summit was held via video conference and sponsored by the African Union, to discuss the reports submitted by the delegations of the three countries in the last round of negotiations.
In a provocative move, the Ethiopian Television aired new footages, showing the Renaissance Dam lake filled, marking the completion of the first phase of filling process, which reflects that the Ethiopian side has not been serious regarding the dam negotiations throughout the last period.
Conflicting statements by Ethiopian ministries of foreign affairs and irrigation were dominating news over the past weeks, declaring the filling of the reservoir then denying those statements and apologizing.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew tweeted in Amhari language, “It was previously the Nile River, now it is a lake. It will no longer flow back into the river. Ethiopia will use the lake to achieve all the developments it wants. In fact, the Nile is ours.”
Egypt has repeatedly assured its strong keenness to reach an agreement regarding the dam in a way that preserves the rights of the three countries.