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AU Supports Resumption of Renaissance Dam Talks

AU Supports Resumption of Renaissance Dam Talks

Monday, 25 May, 2020 - 06:30
Caption: In this June 28, 2013 file photo, construction work takes place at the site of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam near Assosa, Ethiopia. (Elias Asmare / AP)

The African Union (AU) has welcomed the announcement of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to resume the technical discussions on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), as part of efforts exerted by the three parties to reach an agreement on the dam’s filling and operation.

Chairperson of AU’s Commission Moussa Faki welcomed the recent developments on GERD. He commended Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan for agreeing to resume technical-level engagements through their water ministers to resolve outstanding differences and reach an amicable solution.

The Chairperson encouraged the three states to pursue their engagements in good faith, guided by principles of cooperation, common understanding and transparency, as stipulated in the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the GERD.

Faki also expressed the AU Commission’s willingness to assist all parties in finding a peaceful resolution and achieving a mutually beneficial agreement.

A statement issued by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry last week said Cairo is willing to resume negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan on the rules for filling and operating the dam.

However, the Ministry stressed the importance that the negotiations be serious and constructive, and contribute to reaching a fair, balanced and comprehensive agreement that preserves Egypt’s water interests while also taking into account the interests of Ethiopia and Sudan.

Negotiations between the three countries had stalled in February after Ethiopia skipped the final round of US-brokered negotiations held earlier this year and refused to sign a draft agreement prepared by Washington and the World Bank.

Only Egypt initialed the resulting draft agreement.

Later, Addis Ababa warned that it would begin filling the dam in July without signing an agreement. But earlier this month, Sudan rejected Ethiopia’s proposal.

Last week, UN chief Antonio Guterres, the European Union and China encouraged Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to persevere with efforts to overcome their differences and reach agreement on the dam.

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