I pray with confidence that GERD talks will reach fair solution: Pope Tawadros II



Thu, 24 Sep 2020 - 05:49 GMT


Thu, 24 Sep 2020 - 05:49 GMT


CAIRO – 24 September 2020: Pope Tawadros II, the pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark said he is confident that the Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will reach a solution fair regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations.

“I pray to God with Confidence that the three countries will reach a fair solution during their talks” Pope Tawadros said during meeting Ethipoian Ambassador to Cairo Markos Tekle Rike, Thursday.

He added that “Nile River is God’s gift for all of us, same as sun and air”. Pope Tawadros affirmed the strong relations between the Egyptian and Ethiopian Churches and the people of the two countries.

Pope Tawadros also welcomes on Thursday the American Ambassador in Egypt Jonathan R. Cohen and His new appointed deputy. And in another sperate meeting he welcomed Brazil ambassador in Cairo Antonio Patriota, for the first time since appointed last October.

Ethiopia started building the controversial Grand Ethiopian dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011, without going back to the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan]. Since then, Cairo has voiced its concern over how the dam can reduce the country’s annual shares of 55.5 billion cubic meters of Nile water. Egypt’s average water per-capita is expected to drop from 663 cubic meters per year to 582 cubic meters by 2025, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2014.

 Constructions in the Grand Renaissance Dam started on April 2, 2011, at a cost of $4.8 billion. It was built by the Italian construction and engineering company Salini Impergilo. The Italian company is headquartered in Milan. The dam is located on the Nile with a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters and is expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.

 In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries 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.

 The current points of disagreement boil down to the operation of the dam the filling process of the reservoir, and the absence of a legal binding agreement between the three countries on such points, especially after Ethiopia carried out the first phase of the reservoir filling process mid-July 2020 unilaterally.








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