File- A general view shows construction activity on the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region in this March 16, 2014 file photo. File- A general view shows construction activity on the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region in this March 16, 2014 file photo.

Solution options of GERD dispute up to Egypt: AL

Sun, Sep. 29, 2019
CAIRO - 29 September 2019: In response to a question about proposing a roadmap for dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Arab League (AL) Secretary general Ahmed Aboul Gheit said this matter is up to Egypt, which voiced its unease over the negotiations between the two sides.

“It is up to the Egyptian government to decide what to do [...]. There are countries [in the international community] ,that have influence and provide assistance. There is also the international law, the United Nations and the UN Security Council. A lot of steps available to take,” he said in a televised interview with “Al-Youm” T.V. program on DMC channel on Sunday.

Since September 20, 2019, Egypt has started diplomatic escalation to expand the domain of discussions on the dam so it becomes no longer confined to a bilateral or trilateral level.

President Sisi said Egypt has always adopted policies that favor dialogue, emphasizing that the dam will not be operated by the “imposition of a status quo.” “We have no other water source but the Nile River,” the president stressed.

Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the controversial and under-construction Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as Cairo voiced its concern over its share after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011. A series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan has begun in 2014. One year later, the three countries reached an agreement, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be affected by the construction of the dam. However, the two countries recently blamed each other for hindering a final agreement concerning the technical problem.

Sameh Shoukry told Al Monitor in New York that the Ethiopian development should come at the expense of the lives of Egyptians.

He added that the disagreement is a “scientific issue”, saying “science should not be manipulated politically.” The problematic point between Egypt and Ethiopia is related to the period of filling the dam’s reservoir with water; Egypt has recently submitted the Ethiopian and Sudanese sides a proposal to fill the dam’s reservoir over seven years. The dam’s capacity is 73 billion cubic meters of water and this means that Egypt will lose 10 billion cubic meters annually of its 55.5 water share over the proposed period. However, Ethiopia rejected the offer.
 
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