MOSCOW: The Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty confirmed Cairo’s readiness to deal with all the problems arising from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
In televised statements, the minister said that Egypt is not concerned, even if Ethiopia implements the second phase of filling the Renaissance Dam reservoir.
He said that the state would not wait for any damage to occur and that Egypt had prepared for all possible scenarios five years ago.
Abdel Aty stressed that Egypt and Sudan showed great flexibility in GERD negotiations with Ethiopia.
“Ethiopian intransigence is the reason for the failure of the negotiations,” he said.
He explained that Cairo and Khartoum reached a fair and binding legal agreement that meets the aspirations of all countries in development.
He added that the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation is making great efforts to deal with the repercussions of the dam by implementing projects to face any emergency that the water system may face.
He announced that Egypt rejected Ethiopia’s proposal to form a mechanism for exchanging data on the procedures for implementing the second phase of filling the GERD.
The ministry believes that the Ethiopian offer was an “open attempt” to extract Egyptian approval for the second phase of filling the dam.
“Egypt has rejected an Ethiopian proposal calling for the formation of a mechanism to exchange data on the procedures for implementing the second phase of filling the dam, which Ethiopia announced that it intends to implement during the next rainy season this summer,” a spokesman for the ministry, Mohamed Ghanem, said.
“This proposal came in a speech that Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty received from his Ethiopian counterpart, and included many inaccuracies and allegations that do not reflect the truth of the negotiations over the past years,” he added.
“The Ethiopian proposal contradicts the decisions of the African summits that were held on the issue of the Renaissance Dam, which emphasized the need to reach a binding legal agreement on the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam,” he continued.
“The Ethiopian proposal is nothing more than an open attempt to extract an Egyptian endorsement on the second stage of filling, which Ethiopia intends to implement during the summer of this year even if the three countries did not reach an agreement on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam,” he said.
Ghanem said that Cairo would reject “any unilateral measures taken by Ethiopia and will not accept reaching understandings that provide political and technical cover for the Ethiopian efforts to impose a fait accompli on the two downstream countries.”
He added: “Egypt adheres to the necessity of reaching an integrated agreement on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, in implementation of the provisions of the Declaration of Principles Agreement concluded in 2015.”
Ghanem concluded that Egypt had “showed a great deal of flexibility in order to reach an agreement on the Renaissance Dam that takes into account the interests and rights of the three countries,” adding that: “Ethiopia has to show the necessary political will to reach the desired agreement.”