Saudi Arabia to hold summit on Ethiopian Dam crisis



Thu, 18 Feb 2021 - 07:59 GMT


Thu, 18 Feb 2021 - 07:59 GMT

FILE - Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

FILE - Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

CAIRO – 18 February 2021: Saudi State Minister for African Affairs Ahmed al-Qatan stated Wednesday that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would call for holding a summit on the the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis in the suitable time within the framework of the Council of Arab-African States bordering Red Sea.


The council encompasses eight state members that are Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, and Djibouti.


Qatan's statements were made to press after his meeting with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah al-Hamdok in Khartoum.


As reported by Sky News Arabia, the Saudi official declared that his country works on ending in a way that guarantees the water rights of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia asserting support to the Arab water security.


In mid-July 2020, Ethiopian authorities unilaterally carried out the first phase of the filling process with 4.9 billion cubic meters; and it is expected – as reported by the BBC- that the second phase of the filling would reach 13 billion cubic meters.


The dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia 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 should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam.


In October 2019, Egypt blamed Addis Ababa for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem, calling for activating Article No. 10 of the Declaration of Principles, which stipulates that if the three countries could not find a solution to these disputes, they have to ask for mediation.


Washington had brokered tripartite negotiations among the three countries, in the presence of the President of the World Bank (WB) starting from November 6, 2019 until February 27 and 28, 2020.


During these rounds of talks, tangible outcomes were agreed on among the three parties concerning the rules and mechanism of operating the dam and the filling process of the reservoir during drought and prolonged drought; however, an agreement was not sealed.



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