Cairo challenges Addis Ababa by “an immediate resumption” of the dam negotiations

Cairo, Monday, defied Ethiopia to immediately resume the “Renaissance Dam” negotiations, if Addis Ababa abided by its international pledges not to fill the dam unilaterally. 

This came in a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, in response to Ethiopia’s accusation against Egypt of “resorting to the UN Security Council to escape dialogue and negotiation.”

The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, said in the statement that his country has been involved in negotiations in good faith over the course of a full decade (10 years), stressing its constant readiness to negotiate in order to reach an agreement that meets the interests of all.

In the same statement, Shukri directed Ethiopia’s challenge to “resume negotiations immediately if it (Addis Ababa) announced its commitment to international obligations not to unilaterally (to fill the Renaissance).”

On Sunday, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Guido Andaragashiu said, in a televised interview, that the Egyptian complaint with the Security Council came within the framework of the policy of escaping from dialogue and negotiation.

The Ethiopian Minister stated that his country would not be affected by this because it has documents and evidence refuting the Egyptian allegations, as he put it.

Friday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced, in a statement, to submit a request to the Security Council regarding the “stumbling” of the negotiations of the Ethiopian Dam, while calling in a later speech to accelerate the discussion of its request in the United Nations Council.

Cairo challenges Addis Ababa by "an immediate resumption" of the dam negotiations

In the statement, Cairo called on the Security Council to “intervene with a view to reaching a just and balanced solution to the issue of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and not to take any unilateral measures that might affect the chances of reaching an agreement.”

On Wednesday, 7-day meetings broke out between Cairo, Addis Ababa and Khartoum, via television circuits, in the presence of observers from the European Union, South Africa and the United States.

However, it did not reach a joint result or agreement on the rules for filling and operating the dam, so that the negotiations witnessed years of obstructionism and faltering, amid mutual accusations between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Ethiopia plans to start filling the “Renaissance” dam in this rainy season, and it coincides with next July, amid a Sudanese-Egyptian refusal to fill a unilateral decision without an agreement.

Cairo fears the potential negative impact of the dam on the flow of its annual share of the Nile’s water, which amounts to 55.5 billion cubic meters, while Sudan gets 18.5 billion.

While Addis Ababa says it does not aim to harm Egypt’s interests, and that the aim of building the dam is to generate electricity mainly.

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