Egypt Says Ethiopia’s Stances over GERD Fuel Regional Tensions.

Friday, 9 April, 2021 – 05:15

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). AP

Cairo – Walid Abdulrahman

Egypt said Ethiopia’s intransigence and its rejection of negotiations in Kinshasa is further complicating the Renaissance Dam crisis and fueling regional tensions.

This came as delegations from Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia met earlier this week in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo but failed to bridge their differences.

In this regard, Minister Moustafa Madbouli reviewed on Thursday with Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati a number of issues, including the outcome of negotiations that were held in Kinshasa over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Kinshasa negotiations ended with no progress achieved, also, no agreement was reached on the negotiations’ resumption, Abdel Ati said.

He added that Ethiopia rebuffed all suggestions and alternatives offered by the two downstream nations to re-launch negotiations to reach a solution to disputable technical and legal issues.

According to the Middle East News Agency, Abdel Ati said the Egyptian and Sudanese sides showed flexibility during the talks to reach a binding agreement on the dam operation and filling.

In 2020, Addis Ababa announced that it had completed the first phase of filling the dam, achieving its target of 4.9 billion cubic meters, which allowed the testing of the first two turbines of the dam. This year, it targets filling an additional 13.5 billion cubic meters.

The dam, built in northwestern Ethiopia near the border with Sudan has been a source of tension since construction began in 2011.

Egypt and Sudan want to reach a tripartite agreement on operating the dam before the filling begins. But Ethiopia says that this process is an integral part of the construction and cannot be postponed.

Meanwhile, Madbouli reviewed the progress of a number of projects carried out by his ministry, including the national project for a canal rehabilitation.

He said 1,430-kilometer-long canals were rehabilitated across the nation and work is underway for lining 4,584-kilometer-long canals.

Madbouli further underlined the importance of this project in improving water management mechanisms, urging citizens to protect waterways from pollution.

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