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Thursday, 10 October 2019

Madbouly, Shoukry fire back on GERD as Ethiopia presses ahead with construction

Madbouly, Shoukry fire back on GERD as Ethiopia presses ahead with construction: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry yesterday accused Ethiopia of violating bilateral agreements for pushing ahead with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). “Ethiopia’s radical positions represent a violation of the declaration of principles reached by the presidents of Egypt, Sudan and the prime minister of Ethiopia in Khartoum on 23 March 2015,” Ahram Online quoted Madbouly as saying in a statement to the House. "This unilateral decision was in violation of international agreements, and despite this fact we choose dialogue to reach agreement with Ethiopia." Shoukry, meanwhile, called Ethiopia’s actions “unacceptable” and warned that they will have” negative consequences for stability in the region,” according to Reuters.

Background: The ministers’ statements are the latest salvo in an escalating war of words between Egypt and Ethiopia over the dam’s potential disruption to the flow of the Blue Nile. It emerged this week that Ethiopia had referred to Egypt’s proposal as “an effort to maintain a self-claimed colonial era-based water allocation and veto power on any project in the Nile system.” Talks in Khartoum last week failed to produce an agreement on how much water Ethiopia will release each year. Egypt depends on the Nile for 90% of its water and wants Ethiopia to release 40 bcm a year from its reservoir, a higher quantity than the 35 bcm proposed by Addis Ababa. Egypt has called for the US to step in and mediate the talks, an idea that Ethiopia rejected from the outset.

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