Wed, 22 Jul 2020 - 01:35 GMT
Renaissance Dam - FILE
CAIRO – 22 July 2020: In a provocative move, the Ethiopian Television aired new footages showing the Renaissance Dam lake completely filled, proving 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.”
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed; however, tweeted Tuesday on the meeting facilitated by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on GERD.
Fruitful meeting on the #GERD facilitated by @CyrilRamaphosa in the endeavors to strengthen African Solutions to African Problems. I appreciate my brothers @SudanPMHamdok & @AlsisiOfficial for common understanding reached on continuing technical discussions on filling. pic.twitter.com/tgcnSj8HYq— Abiy Ahmed Ali 🇪🇹 (@AbiyAhmedAli) July 21, 2020
On Tuesday, a mini-summit was held Tuesday regarding the dispute of the GERD filling, and was brokered by South Africa in its capacity as the chair of the African Union.
The meeting gave priority to crystallizing a binding deal about the filling and operation of the dam, as another comprehensive agreement about joint cooperation and partnerships among Blue Nile states should be reached later on.
Egypt has repeatedly assured its strong desire to reach an agreement regarding the dam, in a way that preserves the rights of the three countries.
But amid conflicted reports on unilateral filling of the dam, Egypt decided to refer the issue to the United Nations Security Council, in a bid to prevent Ethiopia from taking unilateral measures on filling and operating the dam.
Egypt has affirmed it is not against the GERD as a developmental project for Ethiopia, but that it wants an agreement that would guarantee Egypt’s water security rights, help the international community supervise the project and make sure it does not harm the interests of Egypt or Sudan. However, Egypt says Ethiopia’s “intransigence” has been an obstacle.
On Tuesday, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that Egypt has ‘sincere desire’ to make progress regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations and its ‘points of contention’. The statements came following participating in a mini-summit held via video conference as part of the African Union-sponsored negotiations.