By Staff Reporter
October 6, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy said the trilateral technical dialogue between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan held in Khartoum ended up in disagreement with Egypt calling for international mediation to resolve outstanding issues with the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The ministry in a statement said Ethiopia strongly opposes Egypt’s proposal for international mediation. The proposal was “unwarranted denial of the progress in the trilateral technical dialogue” that “goes against the consent and wishes of Ethiopia and Sudan,” the ministry said in a statement over the weekend.
Ahead of the ministerial meeting, Independent Scientific Research Group had held its 5th round of meeting on the filling and releasing of water from GERD and brought about encouraging results, the statement said.
The ministry further said Egypt followed a “disruptive tactics to halt the hydrology, environmental and social impact of assessments on the project while Ethiopia and Sudan cooperated with the scientific group by providing the necessary information.
Egypt’s delegation claimed the consultation could go forward only if its proposal gets the full acceptance by Sudanese and Ethiopian delegations. Hence, the independent scientific group could not discharge its responsibility up to expectation, the ministry said.
The ministry said Ethiopia’s proposal to fill the reservoir of the GERD within up to seven years showed its unwavering stand to safeguarding the benefits of the downstream countries.
Ethiopian delegation also claimed that it was not the right time to invite international mediation to the scene based on article 10 of the agreed principles of three countries.
Egypt’s proposal for international mediation was not accepted by the Sudanese delegation as well and the proposal harms the existing cooperation between the countries, the ministry added.
Ethiopia also did not accept a proposal to go to a political discussion among the three countries. It said the proposal did not consider the very nature of the issue and contradicts the guidance given by the leaders of the three nations.
The ministry’s statement also said the destructive campaign launched by media would bring nothing but erode the trust between the three countries.
The ministry further said Ethiopia would continue developing the Nile River to the benefit of its people without causing significant changes to the benefits of the Nile basin countries.
Egypt’s Irrigation Minister was quoted as saying the meeting was stalemated after Ethiopia rejected all proposals meant to avoid substantial damage to Egypt. He said Ethiopia proposed to fill the reservoir over four to seven years without elaborating.
The three countries have agreed to continue consultation without setting exact time.
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