Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations are faltering again

The negotiations for the Ethiopian “Renaissance Dam“, which Khartoum hosted for about a week, ended with Egyptian criticism, an Ethiopian rejection, and Sudanese optimism, in a new stumbling within 4 months. 

And at the end of last February, Egypt signed an agreement to fill and operate the Renaissance Dam under the auspices of Washington and the participation of the World Bank.

Cairo considered this agreement “fair”, amid Ethiopian rejection, a Sudanese reservation, and an Egyptian declaration in mid-March, that talks with Ethiopia would stop.

Sudan began a new round since last May to resume negotiations with Egypt and Sudan, which resulted in 7 meetings over a week, before it ended on Wednesday with an Egyptian declaration that this negotiating track was unable to achieve a solution like its predecessor in Washington.

Throughout the previous meetings, Egyptian statements emerged affirming “Ethiopia’s intransigence” in the negotiations and lack of optimism to achieve an agreement, according to data from the Ministry of Irrigation, the main participant in the negotiations.

Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations are faltering again

In a statement on Monday, Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, announced that his country will have to consider “other political options that will be responsible” to prevent Ethiopia from taking unilateral action on the “Renaissance” dam that affects Egypt’s water rights.

While the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Guido Andargashio, said in press statements on Tuesday, that Egypt “came to the talks with two positions, negotiating and at the same time accusing Ethiopia and obstructing the negotiations, it wants everything in its favor without preparing to offer anything.”

The Ethiopian foreign minister refused to give up his country’s rights to complete the dam, accusing Egypt of stalling tripartite talks with Sudan over the Renaissance Dam.

A day earlier, the Sudanese Minister of Irrigation, Yasser Abbas, announced at a press conference that differences had emerged between the three countries, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, in the legal aspects related to the Renaissance Dam Agreement.

Egyptian Minister of Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel-Atti, said in a statement on Wednesday: “The negotiations of the Renaissance Dam, which were conducted over the past period, have made little progress.”

He pointed out that “Ethiopia refused that the signing of an agreement between the three countries is binding according to international law, and it adhered to reaching merely guidelines that can be modified individually.”

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