Nation Won’t Accept Harmful GERD Agreement Nor Harm Downstream Countries, Says PM

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ENA,February 3/2020 Ethiopia will not enter into any agreement about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that harms its national interest nor causes significant harm on the downstream countries, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.

In a question-and-answer session held at the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) on  current issues today, he said Ethiopia remains committed to the principle-based stance of win-win solutions.

It is the tiresome and long fruitless debates between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt that have  brought about the involvement of the World Bank and USA as observers.

“Since the involvement of the observers, it is encouraging that we [Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt] seem to get close to obtaining solutions to the issues that used to take extended time,” he noted.

The last two Ethiopian prime ministers and I share similar and firm stand about GERD, Abiy said, adding that the country’s position has always been mutual development and eradication of poverty.

The premier stated that “our support to Somalia is a visible evidence that we never intend to cause harm on our neighbors but supportive brotherhood role.”

He commended the patriotic and unreserved support of all the experts in moving in line to national interest all along the negotiations.

Asked about economic policy change of the country, the premier noted that reforming the economy does not mean changing the policy. 

“Many people confused about our reform with policy changes; but I can say that the current government did not make any change on the economic policy adopted 20 years ago by the country,” Abiy said.

According to him, privatizing state-owned companies is part of the reform, but the general economic policy has components that go beyond privatization.

In this regard, improving public-private partnership and facilitating home grown economic reform are part of the economic reform under implementation in the country.

He said the economic reform is attracting huge number of investors and international organization such as the World Bank and IMF.

The premier further recalled that World Bank and IMF have provided around 3 billion USD in a form of loan to enhance the economic reform in the coming three years.