The Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Atti said that the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is one of the major challenges facing his country, rejecting the unilateral measures of Ethiopia, and the Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Yasser Abbas, said that Ethiopia does not have strong arguments to object to the quartet mediation proposal on the dam, reports Al-Jazeera.
In a statement on the occasion of the World Water Day corresponding to Monday, Abdel-Ati warned that the Egyptian state will not accept the unilateral measures taken by Ethiopia in the matter of mobilizing and operating the Renaissance Dam, which will have huge negative repercussions.
Abdel-Ati added that the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and its impact on the waters of the Nile River is one of the major challenges facing Egypt now, considering that the water sector faces many challenges, whether at the global or local level.
In Abbas’s televised remarks on the sidelines of the celebration of World Water Day, he said, “Ethiopia does not have strong arguments to object to the quartet mediation proposal … Khartoum was insisting on giving an opportunity for African Union experts to bring their views closer, but Addis Ababa refused that.”
The Sudanese Minister of Irrigation added, “We are surprised by Ethiopia’s objection to the quartet mediation proposal … We believe that this proposal is excellent for bridging views.”
Abbas called on Ethiopia to accept the principle of mediation, to reach a fair, legal, and binding agreement in the Renaissance Dam negotiations, and to meet the requirements of the three countries and give priority to cooperation rather than disputes, he said.
On March 9, Ethiopia rejected a Sudanese proposal, supported by Egypt, to form a quadripartite international mediation, including the United Nations, the United States, and the European and African Union, to resolve the stalled negotiations over a period of 10 years.
And on Saturday, Ibrahim Idris, a member of the Ethiopian negotiating team in the Renaissance Dam file, said that the idea of a quadripartite mediation regarding the Renaissance Dam negotiations was a “trick aimed at prolonging the period of the second filling of the dam.”
For its part, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry expressed, in a statement Thursday, its regret over the Ethiopian officials’ use of the “language of sovereignty,” stressing that “international rivers are the joint ownership of all riparian states, and it is not permissible to extend sovereignty over them.”