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Ethiopia, Egypt hopeful that GERD negotiations will resume - Daily News Egypt

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Ethiopia, Egypt hopeful that GERD negotiations will resume

Dam will not harm downstream countries, Ethiopian State Minister for Foreign Affairs

A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony.  (AFP Photo)
A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony.
(AFP Photo)

There are positive signs that Egypt will soon come to the negotiating table with Ethiopia over Nile usage and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Damn (GERD), said Ethiopian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Berhane Gebre-Christos in a Friday statement.

In a meeting with Head of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia Chantal Hebberecht, deputy head of the delegation Barbara Plinkert, and German Ambassador to Ethiopia Lieselore Cyrus, Gebre-Christos said that the GERD complies with international trans-boundary standards, will not harm downstream countries, and its sole purpose is to generate electric energy.

“Hebberecht, on her part said that the EU Commission is very much committed to encourage the different parties into a constructive dialogue and to reach a win-win and sustainable solution,” read the statement. “She further added that the EU will continue to support and to encourage comprehensive dialogue regarding Nile issue.”

“We will see. There’s a good environment, and this should be reflected in some serious negotiations,” said Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Badr Abdelatty, adding that he hopes to see progress in the coming days and weeks.

Abdelatty said that in order for Egypt to reach a deal with Ethiopia, Ethiopia must meet the recommendations about the dam put forth by the International Panel of Experts, and that the dam must not harm the interests of any country.

“We want to be provided with more information to assess the implications of the dam,” said Abdelatty. “We don’t want it to harm water flow.”

A solution can only be found through all parties showing good intentions, serious negotiations, and “political will”, said Abdelatty.

The GERD has been a perennial source of tension between Egypt and Ethiopia since construction began in 2011. A series of previous tripartite talks last autumn and winter between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan—another upstream country—have failed. The talks focused on the formation of a committee to implement recommendations put forth by a report detailing confidence-building measures concerning the dam and its effect on downstream nations.

The Egyptian foreign ministry announced in March a detailed outline of the official stance on the GERD. Egypt wants to negotiate a “win-win” situation for all parties involved, both protecting the developmental need of Ethiopia and the water security of Egypt and Sudan.

However, the Egyptian side said Ethiopia continuing the construction process at the dam site “violates all the well-known international legal principles regarding projects and/or constructions on international rivers”, adding that it has broken a number of international agreements.

According to the foreign ministry, the Ethiopian side violated an agreement on the framework for cooperation with Egypt signed in 1993 where each party committed to “refrain from engaging in any activity related to the Nile waters that may cause appreciable harm to the interests of the other party”.

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  • Girma

    What kind of change of heart you are talking about Egypt? They are drumming the same noise as it had been heard before. If Egypt is not committed to drop its 100% hegemony over the Nile water, there will no be a win-win solution. The existence of GERD is obviously happening and Egypt must realize this. Egypt cannot stop it or shape the size and the nature of the dam. If Egypt intends to do so, it is an attempt of using the so-called historical right and wishy-washy veto powers mandated by their colonial masters. This is what all upstream countries rejected and cannot be used by Egypt to reinvigorate its anti-Africa development as a back door entrance. The change of heart is seen if Egypt accepts this fact, respect other coutries right to use the Nile water for their need and negotiate on the share of Nile water equitably with all Nile basin countries.

  • meko

    Egypt got no change of heart. Only change of tactic. They want to destroy us. Watch them carefully. They probably poisoned Meles Zenawi. They are very wicked people.

  • habesha

    Al sisi, we don’t need your visit. You are not welcome here. As you were one of Mubarak’s butchers, Your hands are stained with the blood of so many Ethiopians.Please do not trust these people. They are the reason of all our misery.

  • Jasmine

    Ethiopia shouldn’t be obliged to bend for Egyptian preconditions. Serious or not, negotiation is in the interest of Egypt more than that of for ethiopia. I still don’t believe Egypt is ready to face the truth, though.

  • Alula Shocking Egypt

    I am an Ethiopian. I honestly do not understand why Ethiopia in the first place have to talk with Egypt about whatever dam we build? I do not believe they have any right. They have been using the water all alone does not mean they have a right. You may not agree with me, there will not be any change from both sides. Ethiopia has no any obligation to enter into any agreement with Egypt. Ethiopia has never entered into agreement with Egypt any time in its history. Haileslassie had issue with them because he wanted them to pay for the water and the discussion at that time was how much they must pay. They have no any special right. Ethiopian can use the water as they please and wish with no need for Egypt’s blessing or cursing. It does not just make sense Ethiopia has to enter with a country that is 2212 km away from the sources. Isis is not welcome in Ethiopia because he is a murderer of his own people. We do not welcome criminals and multidegree murderers in our country. Our land is the land of the just and it is not the land of the criminals. It is our nature we are not violent and we never attacked and threatened in any country. But we are fierce to defend ourselves in time need to do so. I would rather advise the so called criminal president to stay in Egypt. You have no right and we will never allow you to have anything to do with our resources. There is nothing that oblige us to sit with you. You like it or not, go to hell. We will not reach you and do not reach us. We do not even need your friendship. No brother or sister, it is business, buy the water with hard cash because we are even buying the toxic oil. Who said water can not be sold but oil? The Arabs are selling the oil and becoming rich? Ethiopia has to sell its God given water for hard cash sooner or later. There is no need to give a right to Egypt which they do not have. You have no any right. If you were very generous, we would offer you to pay for it. No free water forever. South Africa pays for the Losethu river and South Africa is piping the water across the country. Now South Africa plans to buy more water from Congo DRC. USA pays for Canada for Columbia river. You have to pay for the water. There is no logic or reason Ethiopians has to die and you have to use their water all alone. We have to feed our starving people and we have to build more dams for irrigation. You can not tie our hands forever. you did tied our hands for long by sponsoring rebells and mercenaries. Now that is over. We have to use the water as much as we need. We have no obligation to baby sit you. We have no obligation to give you our water for free. We do not recognize whatever amount of water u are using now. You are stealing our water. No Ethiopian has ever give you permission to have such amount of water. We are free people from the beginning to the end. There is no way Egypt can manipulate us in the 21 century. You are not even ashamed to claim you have water share ? with whom did you share water? did u share with us? if so when? Please fuck off from our country. We do not need your visit or what you say. Go and talk to somebody else. You have been running around asking every country to stop communication with Ethiopia few weeks ago? you must ashamed of yourself to come to talk us now. We are human being and we have feelings like you. Go away from us.

  • Queen of Saba

    A few days ago l heard one Egyptian journalist saying that Mubarak tried to assesinate Meles Zenawi when he was in power.

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