The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy said in a statement said that Ethiopian, Egyptian, and Sudanese Foreign and Water Ministers hold a trilateral virtual meeting on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. While
Ethiopia and Sudan have accepted the draft document submitted by experts nominated by the Chairperson of the African Union, Egypt refued to accept the document.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and the Chairperson of the African Union Executive Council.
The ministers discussed the resumption of negotiations on the Renaissance Dam and focused on a draft document submitted by experts nominated by the Chairperson of the African Union.
Ethiopia welcomes the draft document’s positive outlook and expressed its willingness to use it as a single document for the trilateral negotiation, or willingness to use it as input in future negotiations.
The Sudanese side, for its part, said it considered the negotiation document useful for the process and would like to continue the talks by approving the defined role of African Union experts.
Egypt categorically rejected the document.
Negotiations on the Renaissance Dam’s filing and annual management document have largely been agreed upon, but its connection to future water development projects in the Nile Basin is still a major issue.
The main difference lies in the co-relations between the GERD Guidelines and Rules and the future water development projects on the Abbay Basin.
The Renaissance Dam is a non-consumptive hydroelectric generating dam. Any agreement over the dam, which is being negotiated in the absence of a comprehensive water treaty and the prevalence of an unjust status quo, should consider these fundamental factors.
Ethiopia will not agree to a GERD deal that will in any way restrict its right to use the Nile waters, where the water use in the basin injustice is rampant.
On this basis, Ethiopia is committed to concluding the negotiation with good faith to reach an agreement. Accordingly, Ethiopia forwarded alternative approaches to Egypt and Sudan.
The experts will continue their meeting at the expert’s level with oversight of ministers of water affairs and will present the results of the meeting to the next six ministers on Sunday, January 10, 2021.