Intent of Proposed Quartet Negotiation Is to Delay Filling of Dam: GERD Negotiator

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March 19/2021(ENA) The suggestion for involving the quartet in GERD negotiations is to prolong the second filling of the dam and undermine Ethiopia’s rights to equitable and reasonable use of the Nile waters, a member of the Ethiopian negotiating team said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Member of the GERD negotiating team Ambassador Ibrahim Idris said the idea of quartet mediation is not a genuine proposal on the part of Egypt and Sudan but a trap for their cynical goal.

“The suggestion for involving the quartet is to pressurize Ethiopia to accept their proposal which will strip the rights of the country to develop its water resources,” he pointed out.

Ambassador Ibrahim further noted that the purpose of involving the quartet is to prolong  the forthcoming second filling of the dam and undermine Ethiopia’s right to equitable and reasonable use of the Nile waters.

According to him, water sharing issues have always been resolved through negotiations based on international water law. “We should revolve the issues based on criteria not by the decision of third parties.”

He said, “I think they (the proposed  mediators) will request the halting of the second filling of the dam before agreements are reached. This is a very dangerous move by Egypt and Sudan to undermine Ethiopia’s development rights. So, our stand is clear. Let us seat and negotiate for  fair utilization of our water resources.”

Egypt and Sudan are acting as if the water originates from their lands. And Ethiopia has to accept all the decisions made by Egypt, which is against the reality on the ground.

“If we sit with them and reach agreement based on their proposals, then any project planned by Ethiopia in the future should get permission from Cairo before anything. This is totally unthinkable and unacceptable,” the negotiator underscored.

Ambassador Ibrahim noted that the downstream countries have to accept the rights of Ethiopia to develop with its water resources and recognize that Ethiopians across the nation deserve better livelihood.

Not only Egypt and Sudan, but the international community has to also know that Ethiopia has the full right to utilize its natural resources based on international law to respond to the economic and inclusive demands of its citizens, he stressed.

The ultimate intention of Egypt and Sudan is to strip of Ethiopia’s right of using its waters for development activities now and in the future, which is undermining the sovereignty of the nation.

Moreover, he called on all concerned actors to continue resisting illegal and irresponsible moves.

It is to be recalled that Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy announced that the second filling of the dam will proceed as planned and construction of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) has reached 79 percent.