Ibrahim El-Khazen / Anatolia
On Wednesday evening, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demke Mekonnen announced his country’s readiness to return to the Renaissance Dam negotiations with Egypt and Sudan “at any time”.
This came, according to what Mekonnen said, during talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Christopher Lutendola, during his visit to Addis Ababa as part of a tour that also includes Khartoum and Cairo, to revive the stalled negotiations for months.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is chairing the current session of the work of the African Union (it is based in Addis Ababa), which is the sponsor of the negotiations on the dam.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, in a statement, that Mekonnen and Lutendola “had talks, during which they focused on the continuation of the tripartite talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.”
Mekonnen reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment to continue the tripartite talks, which will enable a comprehensive solution.
He stressed “Ethiopia’s readiness to participate in the negotiations at any time.”
Egypt and Sudan exchange accusations with Ethiopia of being responsible for the failure of negotiations on the dam, sponsored by the African Union for months, as part of a negotiating process that began about 10 years ago.
Lutendola expressed his “appreciation for Ethiopia’s commitment to continue the tripartite negotiations,” according to the statement.
He believed that “it is possible to start the tripartite negotiations soon.”
And on Wednesday, the UN Security Council adopted a presidential statement unanimously (15) calling for the resumption of negotiations on the dam, to reach a “binding and acceptable agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.”
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.
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