Egypt blames Ethiopia for stalled Renaissance Dam negotiations

This file photo taken on December 26, 2019 shows a general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia. (File/AFP)
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Updated 13 June 2020

Egypt blames Ethiopia for stalled Renaissance Dam negotiations

  • Mohamed Abdel Ati ruled out a breakthrough in the negotiations of the GERD – which also includes Sudan – stating that the Ethiopian proposal is “unacceptable and does not reflect good neighborly relations”
  • The agreement signed by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan paved the way for diplomatic talks after Addis Ababa began construction of the dam nearly a decade ago

LONDON: Ethiopia has been accused of ‘intransigence’ which has lead to the stalling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation said Saturday.

Mohamed Abdel Ati ruled out a breakthrough in the negotiations of the GERD – which also includes Sudan – stating that the Ethiopian proposal is “unacceptable and does not reflect good neighborly relations.”

Ati also said that the proposal is a clear attempt to impose a fait accompli and does not provide any guarantees during droughts.

The Ethiopian proposal stipulates its right to amend the conditions for filling the GERD, and “wasted all previous understandings,” according to the Egyptian minister.

The dam’s negotiations have been through much controversy, with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi strongly rebuking Ethiopia on Tuesday, accusing Addis Ababa of stalling negotiations over the GERD and moving ahead with plans to start filling the reservoir before reaching a deal.

“A timeline must be set to finish up negotiations, so it does not turn into a new tactic of stalling and shirking responsibility from the 2015 Declaration of Principles which all three countries agreed to,” El-Sisi’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The agreement signed by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan paved the way for diplomatic talks after Addis Ababa began construction of the dam nearly a decade ago.


Algerian president, 75, self isolates as pandemic spreads

Updated 24 October 2020

Algerian president, 75, self isolates as pandemic spreads

  • Tebboune is self isolating because some officials in “upper ranks of the government” are sick with COVID-19
  • “I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that I am well and healthy and that I continue my work,” he said

ALGIERS: Algeria’s 75-year-old President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is self isolating because some officials in “upper ranks of the government” are sick with COVID-19, he said in a Tweet on Saturday.
Tebboune took office in December in an election that came amidst months of mass protests which forced his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power after 20 years.
“I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that I am well and healthy and that I continue my work,” he said, saying his decision was taken on the advice of medical staff.
The global pandemic struck Algeria’s economy as it faced long-term challenges posed by the decline of the oil and gas revenues that finance its historically lavish state spending.
So far, Algeria has officially confirmed more than 55,000 cases of the coronavirus with nearly 2,000 deaths.
Though the pandemic forced an end to the weekly mass protest marches through Algiers and other cities that lasted for more than a year, the political challenges remain.
Tebboune has pushed for changes to Algeria’s referendum to limit presidential terms while expanding the powers of the parliament and judiciary.
However, many people in the leaderless protest movement believe their core goals of replacing the old ruling elite and forcing the army to stay out of politics remain unmet.
Algerians will vote in a referendum on the new constitution on Nov. 1, with Tebboune and the country’s powerful army generals seeking a high turnout in order to turn a page on the protests.