Ethiopia Expresses Disappointment over US Statement on GERD, To Commence Filling Dam

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ENA February 29/2020 Ethiopia has expressed its disappointment over the statement issued by the United States Department of Treasury on 28 February 2020 with regard to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), following a meeting held without Ethiopia’s participation.

In their joint statement issued today, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy recalled that Ethiopia had notified Egypt, Sudan, and the US that it needed more time to deliberate on the process.

Ethiopia is thus disappointed with the statement issued by the United States Department of Treasury on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, following the meeting held without its participation.

The statement pointed out that Ethiopia, as the owner of the GERD, will commence first filling of the GERD in parallel with the construction of the dam in accordance with the principles of equitable and reasonable utilization and the causing of no significant harm as provided for under the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles (DoP).

Ethiopia does not accept the characterization that the negotiation on the Guidelines and Rules on the First Filling and Annual Operation of the GERD (Guidelines and Rules) is completed, the statement underlined. The “text” reportedly initialed by  Egypt in Washington D.C. is not the outcome of the negotiation or the technical and legal discussion of the three countries.

The statement noted that Ethiopia has made it clear that the Guidelines and Rules must be prepared by the three countries.The countries are yet to address outstanding issues pertaining to the finalization of the Guidelines and Rules.

Ethiopia, with the full knowledge and agreement of Egypt and Sudan, has addressed all dam safety related issues during the International Panel of Experts process, it stated. Egypt and Sudan had expressed their appreciation under Principle 8 of the DoP, and Ethiopia will continue to implement it in good faith.

The statement finally expressed Ethiopia’s commitment to continue its engagement with Egypt and Sudan to address the outstanding issues and finalize the Guidelines and Rules on the first filling and annual operation of the GERD.