Biden says 'very good' talks with Turk president    Egypt stands with Iraq in the face of all threats: Egyptian Foreign minister    APO Group, Getty Images make African press releases, images available globally    Luxor's comprehensive health insurance scheme gearing for 1 July launch    NATO: China is a constant security challenge    7th International Day of Yoga to be celebrated in Cairo    Swiss director Julia Bünter's Fiancées will open 22nd Ismailia Int'l Film Festival    Egypt's stocks finished in mixed notes as benchmark EGX 30 adds 0.47%    Egypt's Qalaa: chairman on no-fly list due to court ruling over unpaid $5 mln    Egypt could see 4-5 IPOs in H2: chairman    Fatura closes $3m pre-series A investment round    Disruptech Ventures leads funding round for Egypt's 1st agri-fintech platform    Group-IB uncovers ongoing large-scale scam targeting Middle East, Africa    America is back? Experts warn multiple issues threaten to divide NATO    Italian film 'Mi chiamo Francesco Totti' wins BankGiro Loterij Audience Award at IFFR    24th Shanghai Film Festival marks Communist Party of China centenary    With surge in virus, Oman faces shortage of hospital beds: AP report    Global financial institutions commit $80 bln to support Africa's sustainable recovery    Safwa Holding launches S-One in New Capital with EGP 750m in investments    Wandering elephants spotted flapping ears during sleep    Cairo Court announces 3 decisions in Zamalek apartment case    Egypt development projects in South Sudan serve as role model in Africa: Irrigation minister    Novavax: Large study finds COVID-19 shot about 90% effective    A potential Ahly CAF Champions League final game causes dilemma for Olympic team    Investing in Egypt 'right' decision amid stability, growth: French minister    Arab League in contact with Security Council to support Egypt, Sudan on GERD issue    Palestinian delegation in Cairo to discuss Gaza reconstruction    The Nile for Peace Initiative calls for reaching a legally-binding agreement over GERD issue    Shoukry accuses Ethiopia of obstructing efforts to reach GERD agreement    Egypt, UNFPA to discuss further support to achieve 2030 agenda    Palestinian-Jordanian The Synaptik and Egyptian Felukah rappers team up in 'Nefsi' single    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    Iconic Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef dies at 87 in London    Former Egypt foreign minister urges unified Arab action on 'fateful issues'    Denmark's Eriksen remains in hospital after collapse    Chile's Sanchez out of Copa America group stage with injury    Defending champions Brazil hosts Copa America    Saudi Arabia limits 2021 Hajj pilgrimage to citizens, residents    France's Benzema eyes national team return    Egypt is on short list of partner countries for U.S. COVID-19 vaccines: embassy    Russia to resume charter flights to Egypt resorts in the coming days    Biden administration to send surplus U.S. COVID-19 vaccines to Egypt, several countries    Russia expects to resume charter flights to Egypt resorts in near future    Egypt's Sisi announces allocation of $500 million for reconstruction in war-wrecked Gaza    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    Veteran Egyptian journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed passes away at 86    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





GERD: A point of order?
Published in Ahram Online on 24 - 11 - 2020

Following a 19 November meeting between the Sudanese, Ethiopian, and Egyptian ministers of foreign affairs and of irrigation, Sudan's Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas announced that negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) had been “paused indefinitely”.
The announcement derailed plans to launch a new, 10-day round of negotiations on the dam this week.
Sudan's decision to “pause” negotiations is the latest glitch in the seemingly endless rounds of tripartite talks that have so far failed to agree a protocol for the filling and future operation of the dam or a mechanism for resolving disputes.
Given that Sudan has repeatedly called for a change in the negotiating methodology and demanded a time limit be set for resolving differences the Sudanese announcement did not come as a surprise, says former minister of irrigation Mohamed Nasreddin Allam.
Khartoum wants either the AU and EU observers to actively mediate in the talks or negotiations to continue with the attendance of AU experts playing a greater role in bridging the gap between the three countries. Both are suggestions Egypt and Ethiopia reject.
Ali Al-Hefni, a former deputy to the foreign minister, argues that Khartoum is making a point of order rather than withdrawing from negotiations.
“Given that they failed to achieve any progress in the last few rounds of talks and the parties appear increasingly to be meeting for the sake of meeting, you can understand Sudan's position.”
Unfortunately, Al-Hefni added, the most likely outcome will be even more delay. “It would have been better for the negotiations if both Egypt and Sudan coordinated their stands.”
Egypt issued an official statement at the close of 18 November meeting expressing its wish to resume talks as soon as possible in order to reach a “fair and balanced agreement”. The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, said Thursday's meeting had concluded with an understanding of the need to “continue the negotiations on the filling and annual operation rules of the GERD”.
The AU-sponsored negotiations started in July after the negotiations sponsored by the US and the World Bank failed to produce an agreement in February.
Cairo was busy this week reiterating its commitment to a negotiated settlement of the ongoing dispute. Meeting with former Namibian president Sam Nujoma in Cairo, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi stressed that Cairo was determined to reach a legally binding agreement that preserves Egypt's water rights and meets the development aspirations of the other parties.
Nujoma was recently awarded the Kemet Boutros Ghali (KBG) Foundation for Peace and Knowledge in recognition of his efforts to end conflicts in Africa, and for his long struggle to achieve Namibian independence.
During a meeting last week with Claude Nyamugabo, the Congolese environment minister, Egypt's Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel-Ati underlined Cairo's desire to continue negotiations with Ethiopia. Abdel-Ati also discussed the latest developments over the Ethiopian dam with Giampaoli Cantini, Italy's ambassador to Cairo, and restated Cairo's determination to continue with talks.
In addition, the Egyptian Embassy in London took the lead in organising a virtual meeting of water experts to review the latest developments in negotiations and underlined Cairo's efforts to reach an agreement that preserves the water rights of the three countries.
The first filling of the controversial dam took place in July despite the failure to reach a binding agreement, a move which angered Cairo and Khartoum, both of whom said it violated the Declaration of Principles (DoP) signed in Sudan in March 2015. The DoP states that the three countries must first agree guidelines for the operating processes of the dam before the filling of the reservoir can begin.
With time ticking and the next flood season approaching, we should press for a breakthrough, says Allam.
We need genuine political will to exit the present deadlock, added Al-Hefni. “Egypt and Sudan have repeatedly shown the will necessary to resolve the conflict and it is time Ethiopia did the same. Unfortunately, the domestic problems Addis Ababa is facing could delay any change in its position, or even worse, be used as a pretext not to change.”
*A version of this article appears in print in the 26 November, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly


Clic here to read the story from its source.