Britain Says it Supports Tripartite Negotiations on GERD
The United Kingdom welcomed the tripartite negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Addis Ababa is constructing at the Nile River.
“We welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa’s mediation. We welcome the continued technical discussions on the dam,” UK’s Under Secretary of State for Africa, James Duddridge, said Friday during a press conference held following the conclusion of a three-day official visit to Ethiopia.
In Addis Ababa, Duddridge held discussions with government officials on GERD and the ongoing negotiations between the three states as well as on other issues of mutual concerns.
He urged the countries to continue with their talks. “The dam is not just power for Ethiopia, but it will be sold to Sudan, it will be sold across the region,” Duddridge said.
The British official has further indicated the importance of the African Union to resolve the dispute on the dam.
During his visit, Duddridge held talks with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen and Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew on ways to consolidate bilateral ties and other issues of common concern.
He also conferred with Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Kwesi Quartey and discussed means to strengthen relations with the AU.
Talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Ethiopia’s controversial Nile dam project will be held on August 3 under the AU’s South African presidency.
The AU has been sponsoring the trilateral negotiations since early July, in an attempt to reach a final agreement that will end the water conflict.
Previous rounds, in which international observers took part, haven’t resulted in any progress.
GERD has been a source of tension in the Nile River basin ever since Ethiopia broke ground on it in 2011.