Both Egyptian and Sudanese Ministers of Foreign Affairs have expressed their “categorical” rejection of Ethiopia’s announcement that the second filling of the latter’s Nile dam has started.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met his Sudanese counterpart Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi in New York, on Monday, to continue the coordination and consultation between the two countries on the developments relating to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) file.
They said, in a joint statement, that the Ethiopian move constitutes an “explicit violation” of the provisions of 2015 Declaration of Principles Agreement.
The meeting took place in preparation for the United Nations (UN) Security Council session, which is scheduled for this coming Thursday, and comes at Egypt and Sudan’s request.
The joint statement added that the two ministers agreed on the need to continue intensive contact and consultations with the UN Security Council’s member states, to urge them to support Egypt and Sudan’s position.
The ministers demanded that a legally binding agreement is reached on filling and operating the controversial Ethiopian dam. This agreement would take into account the interests of the three countries, and preserve the rights of the downstream countries from the damage this project will have on Egypt and Sudan.
“The second filling constitutes a violation of international laws and norms governing the exploitation of the resources of transboundary rivers,” the two ministers stressed.
“It represents a dangerous escalation that reveals Ethiopia’s bad faith and its desire to impose a fait accompli on the two downstream countries, and its indifference to the negative effects and damage that its interests may suffer due to the unilateral filling of the dam,” they added.
Shoukry held a series of separate meetings, on Monday, with ambassadors of countries participating in the Arab Committee concerned with reviewing GERD developments. The committee also works to coordinate with the UN Security Council regarding the ongoing crisis, as well as with the permanent delegates of the African Group in the Security Council.
He also met with the permanent delegates and representatives of Estonia, Ireland, Mexico, and Norway, which are current non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
During these meetings, Shoukry reviewed the firm Egyptian position on the issue of the GERD, which is based on the need to reach a binding legal agreement on filling and operating the dam. This takes into account the interests of the three countries, whilst preserving Egypt’s water rights.
These intensive meetings come as part of the preparations for the upcoming UN Security Council session on the Ethiopian dam issue, which will be held at the request of Egypt and Sudan.
The meeting will see the council discuss this issue, whilst pushing forward to resolve the currently escalating situation, by supporting a fair and balanced agreement that achieves the interests of the three countries.
The UN Security Council announced Thursday’s meeting on the GERD after receiving a request from Egypt and Sudan relating Addis Ababa’s intransigence in reaching an agreement on the dam. All negotiations between the three countries on the issue have reached an impasse.