Press Release on the Tripartite Negotiation on the GERD
Addis Ababa (14 July 2020): The Ministers of Water Affairs of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan concluded the eleven-day long AU-led tripartite negotiation on the Guidelines and Rules on the first filling and annual operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on 13th July 2020. The meetings were attended by the observers from the Republic of South Africa, EU, USA, and experts assigned by the Chairperson of the African Union (AU).
The three countries have communicated the first progress report to the Chairperson of the AU on 10th July 2020 and the second report on 14th July 2020.
Ethiopia appreciates the initiative taken by the AU and its current Chairperson, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa. Ethiopia recognises that the AU-led process is at a very encouraging state. The countries have managed to reach an understanding on their interests instead of reiterating their positions.
Ethiopia would like to stress that a negotiated agreement is the only way out. The most outstanding issue is the impact of the Guidelines and Rules on Ethiopia’s future water use upstream of the GERD. In this respect, the absence of a comprehensive treaty governing the relations of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan with regard to the Nile is the major factor that poses a challenge.
Unchanged stances and additional and excessive demands of Egypt and Sudan have prohibited the conclusion of this round of negotiation by an agreement. Ethiopia is committed to showing flexibility to reach a win-win outcome on all outstanding issues. Ethiopia reiterates that the trilateral negotiation and commitment to reach a mutually beneficial outcome is the only avenue to reaching an outcome.
The negotiation is expected to continue after a review of the outcome so far by the Chairperson of the AU, AU Bureau Members, and leaders of Ethiopia, the Sudan and Egypt. The AU-led process is best suited to negotiate and resolve the differences.
Source: The Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy – Ethiopia
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