Ethiopia Will Only Sign Agreement that Does Not Compromise Its Nat’l Interest: GERD Negotiator

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Addis Ababa September 24/2021 (ENA) Ethiopia will sign an agreement with Egypt and Sudan only when its national interest and future development on utilizing its water resources are guaranteed, a member of the GERD negotiating team Ibrahim Idris said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, he stressed that Ethiopia will not sign any agreement which potentially affects its future development.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in its presidential statement recently called for quick resumption of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam talks under the auspices of the African Union and the signing of a binding agreement.

Asked to comment on the idea of signing a binding agreement,  Ibrahim noted that this is in the hands of the individual countries.

“Ethiopia will not compromise on its national interest by any means,” the negotiator said.

“If Ethiopia signs any agreement with Egypt and Sudan, it will happen only when its national interest and its future development on utilizing its water resources are guaranteed,” he underscored.

The ongoing stance of Sudan and Egypt will only prolong the lasting of agreement rather than finding a viable solution to the matter, according to Ibrahim.

With respect to lasting solution, he noted that the only way to get a lasting solution to the ongoing negotiation is by just stopping politicizing and internationalizing the issue and coming with genuine solutions avoiding denial of facts.

Commenting on the overall nature of the recent call by the UNSC, Ibrahim pointed out that  “the call of UNSC is to reach an agreement that is signed by the will of the three countries. It didn’t say this country should benefited or that country should be deprived.”

The presidential statement further calls on building on the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to reach an agreement on GERD.

The Declaration of Principles (DoP) on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was signed by Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan in Khartoum on March 23, 2015.

Cooperation must be based on mutual understanding, mutual interest, good intentions, benefit for all, and the principles of international law, the DoP notes.

According to Ibrahim, Ethiopia is always ready for fair utilization of the Nile River despite its being the dominant contributor of the river with over 86 percent.

The Abbay River (Blue Nile) is the main tributary to Nile River and its source is in the Ethiopian highlands.