Four Arab League Member States Reject Egypt’s Position on GERD

By Staff Reporter

4-Arab-League-members-GERDJune 24, 2020 ( -- Djibouti, Somalia, and the State of Qatar have defied Arab League’s resolution requiring Ethiopia to delay the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) until a comprehensive deal is reached with Egypt.

The refusal by the three-member states of the Arab League comes after the UN urged Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt to "work together" to resolve differences on the GERD project that Ethiopia is undertaking on the Nile.

The three countries refused to follow the Arab League Resolution that supports Egypt stance’s on GERD during the league’s urgent meeting on issues related to the GERD and the standoff between Libya and Egypt.

The resolution submitted by Egypt and approved by Arab foreign ministers was passed on Tuesday in a virtual conference requested by Cairo.

The League's meeting comes after the latest round of three-way negotiations on the dam project faltered and Egypt requested the UN Security Council to intervene on the matter.

During his daily press conference on Monday, UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric urged the three countries to peacefully resolve their differences.

“We urge Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to work together to intensify efforts to peacefully resolve outstanding differences,” he said.

Dujarric also recalled, “the importance of the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the dam” that stressed the need for cooperation based on good faith, international law, and mutual benefit.

It is to be recalled that Ethiopia stressed the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles (DoP) on the GERD shall be respected in its entirety.

The Security Council in its session on Tuesday did not produce any resolution on GERD even though the three countries referred letters to the UN explaining their concerns.

Ethiopia said the dam is indispensable for its development and insisted Egypt’s water share will not be affected.

Sudan on Monday said it does not support Egypt’s resort to the Security Council to resolve issues regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Minister of State for the Foreign Affairs of Sudan, Omar Qamar Al-Din, said in an interview with the BBC Arabic that his country does not support Egypt’s decision to refer the issue of the dam to the Security Council.

The Sudanese official said Egypt’s move would “complicate sensitive situations” and stressed the need to reach a tripartite agreement on the matter.

Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Prof. Yasser Abbas, also said Khartoum is still sticking to its firm position that negotiations are the most effective way to reach understandings on the issue of the dam.

The Government of Ethiopia reiterated that it will continue with its plans to fill the dam from July whether an agreement was reached or not.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, Ethiopia said it “does not have a legal obligation” to seek Egypt’s approval to fill GERD.

Ethiopia, which contributes 85 percent of the Nile waters, is always on the win-win side, fair and equitable share of the waters. It is building the dam to provide electricity to more than 60% of its people who do not have access to power.

Recently, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the three countries have settled the technical issues while legal matters remain unsolved.

Egyptian President al Sisi said his country is ready to resolve the issue through diplomatic means.

He also ordered the national air-force of Egypt to get ready and take all the military measures within and outside Egypt's territory.

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