The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Ethiopia, Nebiat Getachew said that the proposal tabled by Egypt regarding the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Ethiopia is constructing over the Nile River, stands in stark contrast to Ethiopia’s national interest and puts country’s sovereignty under question. Ethiopia has been constructing the 6,000MW Dam over the Nile River since 2011.
At a press conference held at the MoFA, the spokesperson asserted that Ethiopia’s collaboration with Egypt and Sudan, regarding the use of the Nile water, is based on its belief that the use of cross-border water resources should be based on common use, fairness, reasonable use, cooperation and avoidance of significant damage to the other users.
“Therefore, Ethiopia will strengthen its use of the Nile water to fulfill the needs of its current and upcoming generations, based on the principles of fairness and reasonable use, and respect to the international law,” he said.
The proposal that Egypt tabled for discussions “does not accept Ethiopia’s current and future use right of River Nile; while limiting the country’s plans to develop the Nile as well as complicates the water filling process of the GERD,” Nebiat said, objecting that Ethiopia will not accept the proposal for these reasons.
He further added that Ethiopia wants to resume the negotiations, in addition to shaking the practice of new and negative individual initiatives that affect the trust built over the past seven years.
Nebiat, who said that the GERD is a Pan-African project, asserted that the Dam is an Ethiopian project that targeted hunger; and s uch it is very important to the nation. Its benefits also extend to downstream nations like Egypt and Sudan, according to the spokesperson.
It is to be recalled that the discussion held in Egypt last week by the Water Ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan concluded in a disagreement due to Egypt’s proposal, which Ethiopia has directly rejected.