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Egypt, Ethiopia Exchange Accusations Over GERD Negotiations

Egypt, Ethiopia Exchange Accusations Over GERD Negotiations

Friday, 16 April, 2021 - 07:00
AFP file photo of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Cairo and Addis Ababa have exchanged accusations over responsibility for the failure of negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).


Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the GERD crisis depends on the extent of the project’s damage that will be inflicted on Egypt.


“If any harm is done, all state institutions will confront and remove it," Shoukry said. "The potentially huge harm will be in Sudan and we cannot accept that.”


Egypt’s FM said that initial technical assessments show his country would not be harmed by the second and much larger filling of the hydroelectric dam being built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile.


He pointed out that the negotiations have reached a dead end, though he expressed Egypt’s willingness to solve the crisis through dialogue and understanding.


Shoukry also highlighted Egypt’s keenness to provide an opportunity for international mediators to resolve the crisis in a way that does not harm the interests of the two downstream countries, namely Sudan and Egypt.


“We continue our endeavor even if the time is narrowing in order to solve the crisis in a way that does not harm the interests of Egypt and Sudan, as the unilateral actions of Ethiopia harm the interests of the two downstream countries,” the minister said.


On Thursday, Ethiopia blamed Egypt and Sudan for the failure of the latest round of talks held in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the current chair of the African Union.


Spokesperson for Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry Ambassador Dina Mufti said in a press conference in Addis Ababa that Egypt and Sudan “prevented reaching an agreement on the Renaissance Dam in the Kinshasa negotiations.”


He described as “disappointing” their efforts to refer the crisis to the UN Security Council.


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