Press Release on the follow-up Extraordinary Meeting of the Bureau of the African Union Assembly on the GERD
Office of the Prime Minister
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
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21 July 2020, Addis Ababa – The follow-up Extraordinary Meeting of the Bureau of the African Union Assembly, convened by South African President and African Union (AU) Chair, Cyril Ramaphosa, was held virtually on July 21, 2020, on the ongoing negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt with regards to the first filling and annual operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed commended the AU-led process for supporting the three countries address differences and arrive at agreements. He appreciated the resolve to African solutions to African problems undertaken through existing regional mechanisms and reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment to continued equitable and reasonable utilisation of Abbay River waters, without significant harm to Egypt and Sudan.
Current rainfall and runoff situation in the region has made it conducive to fill the dam. In the negotiations on the first filling and annual operation of the GERD, Ethiopia is committed to a balanced and win-win negotiation that ascertains the Abbay River will benefit all the three countries. It has become evident over the past two weeks in the rainy season that the GERD’s first year of filling is achieved and the dam under construction is already overtopping.
The Extraordinary Meeting undertaken at the Heads of State and Government level concluded with all parties reaching a major common understanding which paves the way for a breakthrough agreement. Accordingly, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan agreed for further technical discussions on the filling to continue in the AU-led process and proceed to a comprehensive agreement.
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