The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Dina Mufti, said on Saturday that Sudan and Egypt are unecessarily internationalizing the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), indicating his country’s adherence to the African Union’s sponsorship of the negotiations.
In a press conference covered by foreign media outlets stationed in Ethiopia, Mufti stated that there are contradictions in the Egyptian stance.
Dina added that talk about increasing water release to counter drought was present throughout the negotiation stages.
He pointed out that without a lake behind the dam, the project could not address the drought problem that occurs in the two downstream countries.
“We have no objection to signing a comprehensive agreement, but presently, we want to reach an agreement on the second filling of the dam lake,” Mufti said.
He added, “Ethiopia can fill the dam lake within two years by taking advantage of the country’s two rainy seasons.”
Ambassador Mufti made it clear that Ethiopia is still consistent and firm in its position that demands the trilateral negation continue under the African Union’s umbrella.
He considered that the quartet mediation demanded by the two downstream countries had already existed as “an observation over the past period”.
“We cannot negotiate a comprehensive agreement and share water, it must be in another location because we share the Nile water with 12 countries of the Nile Basin”, he said.
Dina added that Ethiopia would like the Nile to be a bridge for cooperation and friendship between peoples.