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3:02 am - Sunday April 5, 2020

Ethiopia rips Arab League support for Egypt on Nile dam - Anadolu Agency

Arab League resolution supports Egypt’s ‘water rights on the Nile’ as Ethiopia prepares to fill $5B Nile River dam

 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

 

Addis Getachew Tadesse

Ethiopia on Friday slammed alleged “blind support” for Egypt by the Arab League in relation to a $5-billion dam Addis Ababa is building on the Nile River.

Upon a call by Egypt, members of the pan-Arab bloc convened in the country’s capital Cairo, with almost all members supporting “Egypt’s water rights on the Nile.”

The resolution accuses Ethiopia of having taken a “obstinate stance” on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), to which Egypt objects due to concerns it may significantly reduce its “traditional share” of the Nile waters.

Ethiopia maintains that using its own resource for development is a sovereign right and aims at lifting millions out of poverty.

Since last Friday, a war of words escalated between Egypt and Ethiopia after the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin advised Ethiopia not to start filling its dam as planned as of the coming July, remarks that Ethiopia has since equated with interference.

A U.S.-sponsored negotiation between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt came to a halt after the Ethiopian delegation skipped a meeting in Washington last month after Addis Ababa accused Washington of favoring Egypt.

In a statement, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed dismay at the Arab League’s resolution on Thursday concerning the GERD.

“Ethiopia rejects the ‘Resolution’ in its entirety. This ‘Resolution’ gives blind support to a member state without taking into consideration key facts at the center of the GERD talks,” the statement said.

As the only Arab League member voting against the resolution, Sudan “has once again demonstrated its position of being a voice of reason and justice in the latest orchestrated so-called ‘Arab League position’ on the GERD,” the statement said.

It added that Ethiopia reiterates its “longstanding and firm position” that it has the right to “use its Nile water resources to meet the needs of the present and future generations.”

“As the Nile is a transboundary water resource Ethiopia is committed to the principles of equitable and reasonable use, not causing significant harm and that of cooperation,” it said.

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