Ethiopia Agrees to Delay GERD Filling

Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to finalize Nile dam agreement in weeks

It also instructed the African Union and members of the Bureau to provide technical support for the negotiations and urged Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt to cease unnecessary media escalation, the statement said.

However, Andargachew explained that his country prefers negotiating on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Rady added that the meeting also agreed that a governmental committee of legal and technical experts from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, AU member states and representatives of worldwide bodies monitoring the negotiations, would be formed to help finalize the final binding legal agreement regarding the GERD's filling and operating.

Ms Billene Seyoum, a spokesman for Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, said there was "no divergence from Ethiopia's original position of filling the dam" in their consensus reached on Friday.

Addis Ababa has been vocal about its plans to start filling the reservoir in July, and Abiy faces intense domestic political pressure to stick to that timeline.

FILE - This satellite image taken Thursday, May 28, 2020, shows the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile river in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia.

"Egypt has elected to bring this matter to the attention of the United Nations security Council after having explored and exhausted every avenue of reaching an amicable solution to an agreement on the GERD that preserves and promotes the rights and interests of the three riparian states of the Blue Nile", said Mr Shoukry. Sudan, which also depends on the Nile for water, has played a key role in bringing the two sides together after the collapse of US -mediated talks in February.

The deal to delay the filling, brokered by the African Union, ends months of stalled negotiations and signals the intention to solve the issue without foreign intervention.

During the emergency summit, Egyptian President Al-Sisi emphasised Egypt's willingness to reach a just and balanced agreement that would enable Ethiopia to achieve its desired economic development goals and increase its ability to generate the appropriate levels of energy it requires.

The Security Council was expected to hold a public meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue.

The Bureau, it said, "Welcomed the commitment of the three Parties to an AU-led process ... and agreed to augment the Tripartite Committee dealing with the GERD issue consisting of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan with the participation of observers, namely South Africa its capacity as Chairperson of the AU, and experts from the Commission, with a view to addressing outstanding technical and legal issues".

Sudan joined Egypt in expressing concerns to the UN's most powerful body, saying in a letter on Wednesday that the unilateral filling of the dam, located around 15 km from the Sudanese border, could "cause substantial risks" to Khartoum and endanger the lives of millions of people living downstream.



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