Egypt, Sudan Obstructing Tripartite Negotiation by Sticking to Colonial Treaties: Deputy Premier

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Addis Ababa May 22/2021 (ENA) The wish of Egypt and Sudan to maintain the colonial treaties of Abay River has been an obstacle to the ongoing tripartite negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonen said.

The deputy premier made the remark at a webinar organized by the Ethiopian Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, in collaboration with Coalition for GERD in Canada.

Demeke noted that Ethiopia has every right to use its water resources without harming the riparian countries in order to alleviate the power shortages of its citizens and improve their living standard.

Many round table discussions have been conducted with a view to addressing the concerns of Egypt and Sudan in line with the Declaration of Principles (DoP) in 2015 and successive consultations made under the leadership of the African Union to resolve some of the pending issues, he pointed out.  

Though it is clearly known that the dam would not harm the riparian nations, Egypt and Sudan are still hindering the negotiation process being undertaken by the African Union by trying to  internationalize the issue.  

Instead of promoting cooperation and equitable utilization of the river, their rigid stance to continue with the colonial treaties has hampered the ongoing tripartite negotiation, he revealed.

According to him, Ethiopia is keen to resume the tripartite negotiation led by AU, focusing on the filling and administration of the dam.

Since filling the dam is part of the construction of the dam as stipulated under the Declaration of Principles agreement, the deputy premier stated that Ethiopia will conduct the second-year filling of GERD as scheduled and agreed by the national independent scientific research group (NISRG) of the three countries.