CAIRO: An official source at the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States has expressed dissatisfaction over Ethiopia’s statement in its recent letter to the UN Security Council on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue.
The Arab League announced last month it was backing the Security Council intervention, despite Ethiopia’s insistence that talks proceed under an existing process led by the African Union.
Ethiopia said on Tuesday that it rejected “unwelcome meddling” by the Arab League in a long-running dispute with Egypt and Sudan over the mega-dam on a tributary of the Nile River.
The statement from the Foreign Ministry came as Egypt voiced its anger at the renewed filling of the GERD reservoir.
“Ethiopia rejects the unwelcome meddling by the League of Arab States on the matter of the GERD following the league’s submission of a letter to the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly to intervene in the matter,” Ethiopia’s statement said.
“The League of Arab States has a reputation for its unfettered and unconditional support to any claim Egypt has presented on the issue of the Nile,” it added.
In response, the Arab League source said Ethiopia’s statement could undermine the friendly and cooperative relations between the league and the African Union.
The source said that Ethiopia’s message contained many inaccuracies, but “the most dangerous thing was the clear attempt to drive a wedge between two regional organizations that have maintained close and solid relations.”
The Arab League is not about to engage in any form of controversy or confrontation with the African Union, especially since its members include 10 Arab countries, the source added, noting that the league maintains different and multiple frameworks and mechanisms for consultation and joint action with the African Union.
The league’s intervention in the dam is logical since the issue affects the interests of two of its members, Egypt and Sudan, the source said.
According to the source, Ethiopia is seeking to portray the issue as an Arab-African conflict, “which is wrong and causes alarm.”
The source called on Addis Ababa to review its “unhelpful approach.”