On Wednesday, Egypt welcomed the Security Council’s statement calling for the resumption of the “Renaissance Dam” negotiations, which have been stalled for five months, and called on Ethiopia to negotiate seriously.

This came in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, amid talk of Ethiopia’s readiness to resume tripartite negotiations with Egypt and Sudan.

And on Wednesday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a presidential statement (15 countries), calling on the three countries to resume negotiations led by the African Union.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that her country welcomed “the presidential statement of the Security Council, which encouraged the resumption of negotiations on the Renaissance Dam (…) with the aim of quickly completing the drafting of the text of a binding legal agreement on filling and operating the dam, within a reasonable time frame.”

She added, “Egypt stresses that the presidential statement, in light of its mandatory nature (..) requires Ethiopia to engage seriously and with political will in order to reach a binding legal agreement on the rules for filling and operating (the dam) as contained in the presidential statement.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demke Mekonnen announced his country’s readiness to return to negotiations with Egypt and Sudan “at any time”, according to a statement by the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry.

Egypt and Sudan exchange accusations with Ethiopia of being responsible for the failure of the dam negotiations, sponsored by the African Union for months, within a negotiating process that began about 10 years ago, due to differences over construction, operation and filling.

On 6 April, a round of negotiations ended in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, without “progress”.

Addis Ababa says that it does not aim to harm the interests of the downstream states of the Nile, Egypt and Sudan, but rather to generate electricity from the dam for development purposes.

While Cairo and Khartoum are calling for the conclusion of a legally binding tripartite agreement, to preserve their water facilities, and the continuation of the flow of their annual share of the Nile water.

© The Eastern Herald
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