Ethiopia Reiterates its Stand on GERD to UNSC


Addis Ababa June 23/2020(ENA) Ethiopia has reiterated its position on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in a letter sent to the United Nations Security Council.

The statement came subsequent to Egypt’s assertion to the UN Security to intervene in the tripartite negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Foreign Minister, Gedu Andargachew stated in his letter to UNSC that Egypt is erroneously portraying the GERD as a threat to international peace and security, adding that the dam will not a menace to peace and security.

He rejected Egypt’s unwarranted demands which are designed to ensure that the unequal, colonial-era arrangements on the Nile remain unchanged and unaltered.

It might seem rather perplexing that Egypt is doing this while the tripartite negotiation is still ongoing, Gedu said in his letter, adding “But we are not surprised at all, for it has been apparent for some time that Egypt had no intention of contributing to the success of the trilateral process.”

Ethiopia expects to continue-the negotiation to amicably resolve the remaining outstanding issues, the Foreign Minister reaffirmed.  

However, Gedu said “it became difficult to move the negotiation process as quickly as we would have liked because of Egypt's insistence on “historic rights and current use.”

The notion of “historic rights and current use” is a reference to the 1959 colonial era Agreement between Egypt and the Sudan which divided the Nile waters between them, completely ignoring Ethiopia.

Under this invalid and unfair deal, Egypt secured the Lion's share of the Nile waters, the letter revealed.

The letter further stated that it is no accident that Egypt hypocritically accuses Ethiopia of not wanting to be bound by the guidelines and rules under negotiation.

The allegation emanates from Egypt’s latent motive of enforcing the guidelines as a water sharing agreement to block future upstream development as the dialogue is not a water sharing negotiation after all, it said.

Ethiopia has gone extra mile in showing the necessary flexibility and compromise to narrow the differences, it stated adding that “that is why there has been notable progress in the latest technical discussions.”

He pointed out in his letter that Ethiopia remained committed to keep on negotiations on the principles of fair and reasonable use of the Nile Waters with no any harm posed on lower riparian countries.   

Ethiopia is building the GERD to meet the dire needs of its people and it is well within its sovereign rights to do so, the letter said.

The letter further pointed out that Ethiopia is not taking any unilateral measures.

“We are spending so much time and energy engaging in the tripartite negotiation process to reach a mutually beneficial outcome. We believe we have come a long way in addressing most of the outstanding technical issues, but we still have some work to do in narrowing the gaps on the legal issues,” the letter added.

Ethiopian News Agency