Egyptian, Sudanese observers’ proposal for equal participation with African Union rejected: March 29-2013 (ENA)
The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy has issued a press statement on the tripartite talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
A meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Water Ministers of Kinshasa was held in Addis Ababa to discuss the ongoing talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on the ongoing Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam.
The statement said Ethiopia will not sign any agreement limiting its right to use the Nile water. A statement from the meeting stated that the meeting was designed to review the past and determine the continuation of the negotiations.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen, said Ethiopia will do its part to ensure that the African Union (AU) negotiations continue.
He said the Nile Basin is a cross-border resource and the riparian countries have the right to use it in a fair and reasonable manner. Therefore, he said, the desire of the lower riparian countries to continue to benefit from the basin should be changed and it should be determined through cooperation and understanding.
The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that the Renaissance Dam is a national project that has created opportunities for cooperation.
At the meeting, it was agreed that all three observers, namely South Africa, the United States and the European Union, would continue to observe.
Ethiopia has agreed to allow observers to submit proposals only when requested by the three countries, in support of a negotiated process in which the two countries are fully owned and within the framework of the African Union.
Egypt’s and Sudanese observers’ proposal for equal participation with the African Union has been rejected. The two countries’ approach underscores the role of the African Union, the statement said.
At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Chairperson of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) said Ethiopia has agreed to accept the draft statement.
Egypt and Sudan, on the other hand, said they would not accept the draft unless two issues were discussed.As a result, the two countries have been pursuing a strategy that undermines the African Union process and withdraws from the AU, as well as refuses to accept the outcome of the talks.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the second year of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will be completed on schedule.
He said the idea that the dam should not be completed without an agreement between the two countries was unconstitutional and violated Ethiopia’s right to use its natural resources.
Although Ethiopia has repeatedly been ready to agree on a deal to fill the dam and its associated drainage system, Egypt and Sudan have been adamant that negotiations on the dam and the result will not limit Ethiopia’s share of water and establish a binding water supply, the statement said.
He also said that Ethiopia will not sign any agreement that deprives it of its right to use the Nile water now and in the future.
“Ethiopia appreciates the efforts of the current chair of the African Union and the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Chasekedi, and his team to continue the negotiations,” the statement said.
Ethiopia is ready to pursue a tripartite negotiation process that will ensure the full ownership of the countries and fully fulfill the role of the African Union.
Ethiopia expects the meeting to resume soon at the invitation of the current chairperson of the African Union.