Agreement must be reached before GERD’s second filling: EU

Sami Hegazi
2 Min Read

The European Union (EU) has urged the Ethiopian Government to reach an agreement with Egypt and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) before the second filling takes place.

Beka Havistan, the EU envoy to Ethiopia and Sudan, reiterated the EU’s determination, along with that of the US and the African Union (AU), to help the three countries reach a compromise. 

In a statement on Monday, Havistan stressed the importance of reaching a conclusion on the various aspects of operating the huge project. The controversial Ethiopian dam has, for years, aroused suspicion in Cairo and Khartoum, with the agreement between the three countries set to guarantee their respective rights. 

The envoy’s statements came on the sidelines of the meetings of EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg. During the meeting, discussions are taking place on the crisis in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region and the repercussions of the GERD crisis, among other issues.

Havistan said the EU is an observer in the dam negotiations, and stressed the importance of exchanging technical information about the stages of filling the dam.

“Sudan needs technical information, because it’s concerned about flood risks,” Havista said.

Egypt had previously announced that the current negotiations under the auspices of the AU had not made any significant progress.

Cairo and Khartoum had earlier renewed the call for the international community to help resolve their decade-long dispute with Ethiopia over the giant dam, which Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile.

They also insisted on the need for a binding international agreement regulating the filling stages and the amount of water Ethiopia releases, particularly in the event of a drought for several years. Addis Ababa, however, rejects such proposals.

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