Statement from the Government of Ethiopia following Khartoum round of trilateral talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

5 Oct 2019

The Government of Ethiopia affirms its position to advance the trilateral technical dialogue concerning the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

The Water Affairs Ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan met in Khartoum on 04 and 05 October 2019. Prior to the Ministers’ meeting, the National Independent Scientific Research Group of the three countries met in Khartoum on 30 September – 03 October 2019.

The Government of Ethiopia is of the conviction that the technical consultation must continue, as it presents the only option for resolution of differences among the three countries with respect to filling and operation of the GERD. Although the unilateral proposal on technical aspects of filling and operation of the GERD by the Government of Egypt side-steps the working procedure of the NISRG and disrupted the ongoing process, the Water Affairs Ministers in their meeting in Cairo on 15 and 16 September 2019 instructed the NISRG to discuss and analyze the filling and operation plan of Ethiopia and the submissions of Egypt and Sudan on technical aspects of filling and operation.

Based on the direction given by the Water Affairs Ministers meeting in Cairo, the NISRG considered Ethiopia’s filling and operation plan of the GERD, and the proposals of Egypt and the Sudan. The deliberation of the Scientific Research Group was based on an outline adopted by consensus between the three country teams. The Group reached an agreement on some points while some other issues remain outstanding. These points of divergence could be resolved through further deliberation by the NISRG.

The filling plan of Ethiopia that is set to be completed in stages that will take four to seven years based on the hydrology is considerate of the interests of the downstream countries of the Nile. Furthermore, Ethiopia and Sudan followed a constructive and inclusive approach for the discussion of the NISRG. Whereas, the Egyptian Side persisted on its position of having all its proposals accepted without which it was not willing to have the NISRG conduct its analysis.

This approach by the Government of Egypt is not new. Rather, it is yet another instance of a disruptive tactic it applied to halt the hydrology, environmental and social impact assessment on the GERD. Ethiopia maintains its stand on the possibility of resolving the issues based on trilateral technical consultation and the invocation of principle X of the DOP is premature.

Despite the tireless efforts of the Ministers of Water Affairs, during their two days meeting to consider the progress of the work of the NISRG, they did not manage to put a direction on the way forward due to the predetermined plan of the delegation of Egypt to make the process fail.

The proposal by the Government of Egypt to invite third party in the discussions is an unwarranted denial of the progress in the trilateral technical dialogue and violates the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles signed by the three countries on 23 March 2015. It also goes against the consent and wishes of Ethiopia and the Sudan; it negatively affects the sustainable cooperation between the Parties; undermines the ample opportunity for technical dialogue between the three countries; and disrupts the positive spirit of cooperation.

Additionally, the proposal to subject the discussion on filling and operation of the GERD to a political forum is unjustified by the nature of the outstanding technical issues. It also contravenes the direction given by the leaders of the three countries given to the Water Affairs Ministers to resolve the technical issues related to filling and operation of the Dam, it will also not allow attainment of a successful resolution of the technical issues.

The Government of Ethiopia believes the existing mechanisms of cooperation will allow resolution of differences and reminds the need to refrain from negative media and other campaigns that will have no other effect than eroding the confidence among the three countries.

The Government of Ethiopia will reinforce its efforts to realize development of its water resource to meet the present and future needs of its people that deserve development and adequate standard of living.

Ethiopia upholds the principles of equitable and reasonable utilization and the causing of no significant harm on any other riparian country in the use of the waters of the Nile. Furthermore, the Government of Ethiopia will continue to follow an approach that will not result in direct or indirect recognition of any preexisting water allocation treaty, which has no applicability whatsoever on Ethiopia.

 

–END–

Latest News

Browse all
Ethiopia’s 6th  National Elections are scheduled to take place in June 2021. The highly anticipated elections will arguably be the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s first free and fair elections. With a few weeks remaining, citizens are encouraged to timely register to vote in exercising their democratic rights and engage constructively throughout the electoral process to collectively ensure free and…
16 Apr 2021
Ethiopia’s 6th National Elections
Ethiopia's resolve to reach a settlement on the first filling and related operation of the dam failed to bear result due to Egypt and Sudan's rigid stance to make the negotiation and its outcome a tool to affirm their self-claimed water share while foreclosing Ethiopia's share. Ethiopia cannot enter into an agreement that would foreclose its current and future legitimate…
6 Apr 2021
Press Release on the Trilateral Negotiations on the GERD
The Embassy would like to reiterate the Government’s enduring priority, at this time, is to rebuild and rehabilitate the Tigray Region, and address the urgent humanitarian needs. The Embassy also rejects, in the strongest terms, the unsubstantiated allegations by the World Peace Foundation that the Government of Ethiopia is using “starvation as a weapon of war”.
6 Apr 2021
Statement to Channel 4 News on Allegations of “Starvation as a Weapon of War” in Tigray
The Embassy rejects, in the strongest terms, the unsubstantiated accusations by the World Peace Foundation that the Government of Ethiopia is “starving the people of Tigray” and using “starvation as a weapon of war”. The facts on the ground are entirely detached from the situation painted in the report. The Government’s main priority remains to rebuild and rehabilitate the Region…
6 Apr 2021
Statement to BBC World Service (Newshour) in response to World Peace Foundation’s report on the situation in Tigray
The Government of Ethiopia has continued intensifying its efforts to address the situation in the Tigray region and has made enormous progress. However, the statement issued by the G7’s Foreign Ministers on 02.04.2021 has failed to capture some of the important steps taken to ensure that the pressing needs of the region are in the process of being fully addressed…
3 Apr 2021
Press Release on G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on the Situation in Tigray
The Embassy is aware of a distressing video that has been circulating on social media over the last few weeks showing the alleged “massacre” of civilians in Mahbere Dego, Tigray. The aforementioned video is now the centre of recent reports by international media. The Embassy condemns, in the strongest terms, any acts of violence and human rights violations towards innocent…
3 Apr 2021
Statement on the Alleged Massacre in Mahbere Dego, Tigray
Organised by the Ethiopian Embassy in London, this webinar aims at promoting Ethio-UK relations in the coffee sector and will provide opportunities for stakeholders to discuss ways of tapping into the huge potential in the sector.
1 Apr 2021
WEBINAR | Ethiopian Coffee in the UK: Creating links and partnerships between Coffee Roasters in Ethiopia and the UK
Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's largest airline, has become the new Airline Partner for the African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA). This partnership will not only promote travel to Africa after a tough year during a global pandemic but also will help with opening Ethiopia as one of Africa’s hidden treasures alongside the numerous African destinations on the Ethiopian network. 
30 Mar 2021
Ethiopian Airlines becomes ATTA’s new Airline Partner
The Embassy remains deeply concerned by serious allegations of rape in Tigray and condemns, in the strongest terms, any acts of sexual violence. Any serious violations committed against citizens will be thoroughly investigated, and the Government will spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators of these and other crimes to justice.
26 Mar 2021
Statement to Sky News on Allegations of Rape and Sexual Violence in Tigray
In our March 26, 2021 discussions with President Isaias Afwerki during my visit to Asmara, the government of Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces out of the Ethiopian border. The Ethiopian National Defense Force will take over guarding the border areas effective immediately.
26 Mar 2021
Statement by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Discussions with President Isaias Afwerki
In our March 26, 2021 discussions with President Isaias Afwerki during my visit to Asmara, the government of Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces out of the Ethiopian border. The Ethiopian National Defense Force will take over guarding the border areas effective immediately.
26 Mar 2021
Statement from Prime Minister Abiy on Discussions with Eritrea’s President Isaias
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have agreed to conduct a joint investigation into the alleged human rights violations and abuses, committed by all parties in the context of the Tigray conflict, as part of the much-needed accountability process for the victims.
26 Mar 2021
EHRC and UN to jointly investigate alleged Human Rights Violations in Tigray