At the Arab League meeting in Doha on June 15, Arab foreign ministers urged Ethiopia to negotiate in good faith and refrain from unilateral measures that would harm Egypt and Sudan’s water interests under the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
In a statement, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that Ethiopia is uncomfortable with the position given by the Arab League meeting and completely rejects it. It was also emphasized in the statement that “This is not the first time the Arab League has made a statement regarding its misleading positions as a result of its open support for the groundless claims of Egypt and Sudan, and that the Arab League has already destroyed opportunities to play a constructive role in resolving the Renaissance Dam crisis.
The ministry, describing the Arab League’s statements about GERD as useless, biased and illogical; stressed the need to encourage reaching a three-sided solution. In this context, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that the possibility of Egypt and Sudan agreeing on a roadmap to continue the GERD negotiations was deliberately destroyed by the Arab League. In addition, it was emphasized in the statement that Ethiopia uses its water resources on a legitimate basis, with full respect for international water laws and the principle of not harming downstream countries.
Arab foreign ministers announced at a meeting in Qatar on Tuesday, June 15, that they support calls by the UN Security Council to intervene in the disputed situation regarding Ethiopia’s GERD project, which is built on one of the main tributaries of the Nile River.
The GERD crisis has not been resolved for nearly 10 years between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. Last month, Ethiopia announced that it will carry out the second phase of filling the dam’s reservoir during the rainy season, in July and August of this year. Sudan and Egypt are also very concerned about the initiation of the second phase of filling without a binding agreement on the dam’s filling and operation.