Egypt, Sudan Delayed Tripartite Negotiations over GERD: Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

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September 16/2021 (ENA) The tripartite negotiation on the construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been delayed due to the unwillingness of Sudan and Egypt to enter into the negotiation, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dina said.

In his weekly media briefing, the spokesperson said Sudan and Egypt have taken the issue of the dam once or twice to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) forum.

However, this is a development issue, not a security issue; and it is not an issue for UNSC as it is a matter of development and water utilization, he noted. 

So the right forum for resolving this is the African Union as rightly and repeatedly pointed out by Ethiopia.  

“The main reason for the delay in the negotiation is the reluctance of Sudan and Egypt to enter into negotiation. But there is no substitute for a tripartite negotiation before or now. What is coming up is that it will end only in a tripartite negotiation,” Dina stated.

Asked about the resumption of the negotiations, the spokesperson said “we cannot say for sure when this will begin. Ethiopia is keen for the talks to begin soon because there were good results in the negotiations. There were many things that brought them (the countries) closer together. There are issues that we are legally and technically close to. We can finish the rest. This is the only way to get things done.”  

Regarding the statement given by the President of the UN Security Council on the matter, he stated that it supports Ethiopia’s position.

Commenting about the mentioning of the role of observers in the negotiations, Dina said mentioning about the role of observers is not a problem. But “we know that observers want to replace the negotiators, this is not correct.”

The spokesperson, on the other hand, raised issues related to relief supply through direct air flight to note that the agreement with donors does not in any way compromise Ethiopia’s national security.

The check points for relief food by road has, however, been reduced based on donor’s request.

Meanwhile, it was learned that 400 Ethiopian diplomats are receiving 10 days capacity building training. 

The objective of the training is to strengthen their ability to deliver service and promote national interest wherever they are assigned, he stated.

There will also be restructuring of institutions both in the embassies and the head office in view of creating efficiency and diligence, it was pointed out.

According to Dina, the Ethiopian Diaspora has recently been massively contributing resources toward helping the National Defense Force and the internally displace people due to the war unleashed by the terrorist TPLF in the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions.