Egypt declares GERD talks with Ethiopia over -

Egypt declares GERD talks with Ethiopia over


Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed speaks at the third round of filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, August 2022 (From the official Twitter feed of Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed)

Egypt has declared the latest round of talks with Ethiopia over the latter’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on a tributary of the Nile River to be over without agreement.

It accused Ethiopia of negotiating in bad faith over the shared waterway and said it would defend its national and water security.

The latest round of four, monthly talks attended by Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia ended without agreement on 19 December in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“The meeting was unsuccessful due to Ethiopia’s persistent refusal, that marked its posture over the course of recent years, to accept any of the technical or legal compromise solutions that would safeguard the interests of all three countries, including Ethiopia’s pronounced interests, as well as Ethiopia’s consistent backtracking on the understandings that were reached,” Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said in a statement afterward, posted on “X” (formerly Twitter).

GERD is a major hydroelectric scheme on the Blue Nile considered by Ethiopia to be of prime national importance. It has been filling the dam in phases since 2020.

Egypt worries the dam will reduce water volumes in the Nile, which it relies on for nearly all its fresh water.

Repeated rounds of talks among the parties including rounds brokered by the US and the African Union have failed to produce a satisfactory compromise on how the dam is filled and operated.

In its statement, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said: “It has become evident that Ethiopia elects to continue exploiting the negotiation process as a cover to solidify a fait accompli on the ground, while negotiating exclusively for the purpose of obtaining an instrument of approval from the downstream countries of an unregulated and absolute Ethiopian control of the Blue Nile, in isolation from Ethiopia’s obligations under international law.”

It concluded: “Given these Ethiopian positions, negotiation tracks have come to an end. Egypt affirms that it will closely monitor the filling and operation of the GERD and reserves its right, in accordance with international charters and accords, to defend its water and national security in the event of harm.”


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