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GERD: New Gulf Support for Egypt, Sudan

GERD: New Gulf Support for Egypt, Sudan

Friday, 9 September, 2022 - 06:00
Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia, September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

The Gulf States expressed support to Egypt and Sudan in their dispute with Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam on the Nile River.

The GCC Ministerial Council rejected “any action or measure that affects their water rights,” stressing “support for all endeavors that would contribute to resolving the file in a manner that takes into account the interests of all parties."

“Water security for Egypt and Sudan is an integral part of Arab national security,” read the final statement issued by the meeting of the GCC foreign ministers on Thursday, at the headquarters of the General Secretariat in Riyadh.

It added: “The GCC states reject any action or measure that affects their rights in the Nile waters,” calling for the necessity to reach an agreement in accordance with the principles of international law and the presidential statement of the Security Council issued on September 15, 2021.

Dr. Mohamed Mahmoud Mahran, Secretary-General of the International Committee for the Defense of Water Resources, member of the American Society of International Law, praised the Gulf support for Egypt’s stance and its legitimate rights in the file of the Renaissance Dam.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Mahran emphasized the need to maintain international pressure on Ethiopia, in order to reach a legal agreement over the dates for filling and operating the dam, in accordance with the rules of international law.

Ethiopia announced last month the completion of the third filling of the dam reservoir. The dam is built on the main tributary of the Nile, and raises tensions with the two downstream countries.

Egypt and Sudan demand that Ethiopia stop filling the dam until an agreement is reached between the three parties on the operation mechanism. But since April 2021, the negotiations between the three countries, which are being held under the auspices of the African Union, have been frozen, after they failed to make a breakthrough. The situation forced Egypt to resort to the UN Security Council to demand pressure on Ethiopia through international partners, with the aim to reach an agreement that satisfies all parties.

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