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Ethiopia dissatisfied on Arab League GERD resolution

The Ethiopian government said it is dissatisfied with the resolution of the Arab League regarding the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile.

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said Friday that Ethiopia is dissatisfied with the resolution issued on March 9 regarding the filling and operation of the GERD, and added that the management and use of the Nile River – including the filling and operation of the dam – should be left to the concerned parties in Africa.

“We should not have to remind the League that the Nile River and all the riparian countries are found in Africa,” the statement said.

“The League is once again serving as the spokesperson of one state, disregarding basic principles of international law. Such attempts to politicize the issue of GERD neither advances friendly relations nor supports the efforts to arrive at amicable solutions as they are not based on facts or supported by law,” it added.

In its statement, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said that GERD is an African issue that needs an African solution, stressing that the African Union is facilitating tripartite negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt to resolve the remaining outstanding issues in good faith and settlement in the spirit of finding African solutions to African problems.

“The fact is that Egypt, with its obdurate stance to maintain a colonial era-based self-claimed water allocation and its unending attempts to internationalize the matter, is the reason for the delay of the negotiation,” the ministry pointed out.

The statement underlined that the Ethiopian government will continue to fill the dam in accordance with the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles of March 2015 between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan, with full respect to the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of transboundary water resources.

Egyptian Foreign Minister,Sameh Shoukry, chair of the meeting of the 159th session of the Council of the Arab League at the level of foreign ministers, announced the adoption of a resolution on GERD and its presentation as a permanent item on the agenda of the Council of the Arab League, which confirms  Arab commitment to protecting the rights of the downstream countries of the Nile River.

This came during a joint press conference held by Shoukry with the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, at the conclusion of the work of the 159th session of the Arab League Council at the level of foreign ministers on Wednesday evening, chaired by Egypt.

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