Construction work at the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
Construction work at the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia agreed, on Saturday, to hold a meeting, next Monday, to assess the course of the Renaissance Dam negotiations.

This came during the fourth meeting of the irrigation ministers in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia regarding the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

According to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation, the consultations that took place between the three countries reflected that there are many major issues that are still rejected by the Ethiopian side.

The statement pointed out that "foremost among them is Ethiopia's objection to the provisions that legally obligate the agreement, or the establishment of a legal mechanism to settle disputes that may arise between the three countries, in addition to its complete refusal to deal with the technical points raised by the Egyptian side regarding measures to confront drought and prolonged drought and years Water shortage. "

Egypt stressed the necessity to include these elements in the agreement as basic elements in any agreement related to the issue of existence affecting the lives of more than 150 million people who are the strength of the Egyptian and Sudanese peoples.

A spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said, "He is not optimistic that any progress will be made in the ongoing negotiations on the Renaissance Dam, due to the persistence of some obstacles, which have emerged during the meetings with Sudan and Ethiopia."

Engineer Mohamed El Sebaei added that while Egypt showed more flexibility during the talks and accepted a compromise paper prepared by Sudan that could serve as a basis for negotiations between the three countries, Ethiopia presented, during the ministerial meeting held on June 11 this year, a "worrying" proposal It includes seeing its rules for filling and operating the dam.

He continued, that the Ethiopian proposal, which was rejected by Egypt and Sudan, reaffirms the persistence of differences and the difficulty of reaching a fair agreement on the Renaissance Dam.

The spokesman revealed some aspects of "awar" in the recent Ethiopian proposal, including: First, while Egypt and Sudan are seeking to reach a binding legal document regulating the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam, and preserving the rights of the three countries, Ethiopia hopes that a non-binding paper will be signed Under which the two downstream states would give up their water rights and recognize Ethiopia as an unconditional right to use the waters of the Blue Nile unilaterally and to fill and operate the Renaissance Dam in accordance with its sole vision.

Second: The Ethiopian proposal aims to waste all the agreements and understandings reached by the three countries during the negotiations spanning nearly a full decade, including the agreements reached in the recent rounds of negotiations with the participation of the United States and the World Bank.

Third: The Ethiopian paper does not provide any guarantees for the downstream countries in droughts and protracted droughts, and does not provide any protection for them from the effects and grave damages that may result from filling and operating the Renaissance Dam.

Fourth: The Ethiopian paper stipulates the absolute right of Addis Ababa to change and amend the rules for filling, unilaterally operating the Renaissance Dam in light of the rates of electricity generation from the dam and to meet its water needs, without even paying attention to the interests of the downstream country or taking them into consideration.

The spokesman concluded his remarks by saying that this Ethiopian position is "unfortunate and unacceptable, and does not reflect the spirit of cooperation and good-neighborliness that should prevail in relations between the African brothers and countries that share international water resources."

It was not possible to get an immediate comment from the Ethiopian side about what the spokesperson for the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation said, but Ethiopia, earlier, stressed its commitment to conducting a real dialogue on the guidelines for the process of filling and operating the Renaissance Dam.