Ethiopia has been accused of ‘intransigence’ which has to lead to the stalling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation said.
Mohamed Abdel Ati ruled out a breakthrough in the negotiations of the GERD – which also includes Sudan – stating that the Ethiopian proposal is “unacceptable and does not reflect good neighborly relations.”
Ati also said that the proposal is a clear attempt to impose a fait accompli and does not provide any guarantees during droughts.
The Ethiopian proposal stipulates its right to amend the conditions for filling the GERD, and “wasted all previous understandings,” according to the Egyptian minister.
The dam’s negotiations have been through many controversies, with Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi strongly rebuking Ethiopia on Tuesday, accusing Addis Ababa of stalling negotiations over the GERD and moving ahead with plans to start filling the reservoir before reaching a deal.
“A timeline must be set to finish up negotiations, so it does not turn into a new tactic of stalling and shirking responsibility from the 2015 Declaration of Principles which all three countries agreed to,” El-Sisi’s office said in a statement.
The agreement signed by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan paved the way for diplomatic talks after Addis Ababa began construction of the dam nearly a decade ago.
In the meantime, Ethiopian foreign minister says Egypt half-hearted in week-old negotiations, seeks to ‘lodge complaint’ with UN
Ethiopia on Tuesday blamed Egypt for causing to falter the latest round of three-way talks with Sudan on a $5-billion hydro-electric Nile dam project in the East African country.
On June 9, the three countries restarted talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) first filling and annual operations.
Ethiopia plans to start filling the dam in its main rainy month of July, hoping to test of plant’s two turbines next year.
“Egypt came to the latest negotiation with one leg on the talks and another aimed at lodging complaint to the UN Security Council,” the local broadcaster FANA quoted Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew as saying.
Assessing the last four days of talks, Gedu noted that on the fifth day Tuesday, the three countries were expected to negotiate legal issues.
“Egypt wants to take everything for itself with no readiness to give,” he was quoted as saying.
Talks between the three resumed this month after having been suspended since February after a series of meetings held in Washington under the auspices of the US, UN and World Bank.
Ethiopia hopes to retain 4.9 billion cubic meters of water during the coming rainy season in July and August as part of the first-phase filling and the volume would be enough to test two turbines in mid-2021.