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Sudan urges UN Security Council to encourage GERD parties to refrain from 'unilateral measures'
Published in Ahram Online on 02 - 06 - 2020

Sudan has urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to encourage all parties with a stake in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to “refrain from any unilateral measures” that could affect regional and international peace and security.
In a letter to the UNSC dated Tuesday, Sudanese Foreign Minister Asmaa Abdallah explained Sudan's position on the ongoing developments related to the dam, including an initiative adopted by Sudan to resume negotiations on the disputed dam with Egypt and Ethiopia.
Sudan asked the UNSC to support its efforts to resume talks in good faith to reach a comprehensive agreement among all parties.
The letter stressed on Sudan's principled decision on “negotiating in good faith,” to which it has committed during negotiations given its belief in the importance of a solid foundation for cooperation between the three countries.
Sudan affirmed its commitment to the rules of international law stipulated in the UN's Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses.
The rules mainly cover the equitable and reasonable use of watercourses and the obligation not to cause significant harm to other watercourse states and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means.
Khartoum's letter to the UNSC a comes few weeks after Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed to resume the technical discussions on the GERD, months after disputes between Cairo and Addis Ababa landed at the UNSC.
Egypt said it is ready for a revival of talks with Sudan and Ethiopia over the GERD; yet stressed on the importance of "serious and constructive” talks between the three countries' irrigation ministers to contribute to a fair, balanced and comprehensive agreement that would preserve Egypt's water rights and the interests of both Sudan and Ethiopia.
The tripartite negotiations reached a deadlock in February after Ethiopia skipped the final round of talks in Washington, leading to a diplomatic war of words between Cairo and Addis Ababa that reached the UN Security Council.
On 1 May, Egypt sent a memo to the UNSC blaming Ethiopia for trying to establish a deal without taking the interests of downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, into consideration.
Egypt had rejected, along with Sudan, an Ethiopian proposal put forth last month amid the ongoing discord, where Addis Ababa proposed a “partial agreement” that would only cover the first stage of the filling.
Addis Ababa told the UNSC later in May in a letter sent in response to the Egyptian memo that it “does not have a legal obligation to seek the approval of Egypt to fill the dam.”
Some 85 percent of the Nile water that reaches Egypt flows from the Ethiopian highlands, mainly from the Blue Nile.
Egypt annually receives 55.5 billion cubic metres of water from its High Aswan Dam, while it requires over 80 billion cubic metres to cover its needs. It bridges the gap by water recycling and reuse.

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