Ministers Brief African Ambassadors on GERD Negotiation, Ethio-Sudan Border Dispute

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April 13/2021(ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, and Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Seleshi Bekele briefed African Ambassadors on GERD negotiations and Ethio-Sudan border dispute today.

The ministers briefed the ambassadors on the AU-led trilateral ministerial meeting held in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from April 4-5,  2021.

They highlighted the issues discussed at the meeting and Ethiopia’s perspectives on the matter.

Noting that Ethiopia strongly believes that the AU-led trilateral negotiation is the only viable way to reach a win-win outcome, the ministers stressed that cooperation and the spirit of African brotherhood are the best option for the management and utilization of the waters of the Nile.

The ministers expressed their disappointment on attempts of Egypt and the Sudan which try to depict GERD as a threat to Arab water security while all riparian countries are Africans, including Egypt and the Sudan.

Such politicization is not acceptable and encouraged the diplomats not to fall into these traps,  they noted.  

The ministers also underlined that in line with the communique issued at the conclusion of the meeting of the African Union Bureau of the Assembly in July 2020, the most practical and workable way for a successful negotiation is first to agree on the first filling and related operations and then to proceed to a comprehensive agreement on the utilization of the waters of the Nile.

They informed the ambassadors that in order to facilitate the exchange of data regarding the upcoming second filling of the GERD that will commence in July 2021, Ethiopia in good faith has taken the initiative and formally communicated through the minister of water, irrigation and energy to his counterparts in Sudan and Egypt.

In addition to the trilateral negotiations on the GERD, the ambassadors were briefed about the current situation along the Ethiopia-Sudan boundary and Ethiopia’s firm commitment to resolve the matter through a peaceful means based on the bilateral agreements and existing boundary mechanisms.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ambassadors have on their part expressed their profound thanks for the briefing and emphasized the importance of reaching a win-win outcome on the GERD through the AU-led negotiation based on the principle of “African solutions to Africa’s problems.”

They further appreciated Ethiopia’s determination to resolve the Ethiopia-Sudan boundary issue peacefully.