Security Council calls for resumed GERD negotiations

The UN Security Council called for a return to the negotiations table after its session on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam concluded with Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, and a number of delegates from the member states were listened to. The sessions did not witness the announcement of any measures.

Khartoum: AlTaghyeer

Representatives from the member states within the Security Council unanimously called on the three parties to resume negotiations to reach a solution that satisfies the three countries, stressing that this solution is both necessary and achievable.

The Tunisian delegate, al-Monsef al-Baati, expressed his hope that the three countries would reach a binding agreement and preserve water rights for all parties, stressing that it is possible if unilateral measures a refrained from.

The Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele, considered that the council should not concern itself with a “development project” used to generate electricity.

He explained that disputes over cross-border waters do not fall within the mandate of the Security Council.

The minister also said that his country is willing to resume negotiations, blaming Egypt and Sudan for not having reached an acceptable solution, stressing that his country “does not bow to pressure.”

For his part, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the lives of one hundred million people are in danger, and called for the adoption of the Tunisian draft resolution.

Shoukry also stressed that Egypt will protect its rights by all means.

He added that Ethiopia’s actions endanger peace and security in the region, and that Cairo seeks a fair legal agreement that includes measures that take into account the conditions of the two downstream countries.

The Egyptian delegate particularly noted taking into account the two countries’ conditions during periods of drought, in addition to ensuring that Egypt’s water security is not endangered.

Council Members Weigh In

Russia’s delegate, Vasily Nebenzia, warned against the threat of the use of force, stressing that this would not lead to a solution regarding the Renaissance Dam.

The US’ permanent representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, said that “a balanced solution on the Renaissance Dam can be reached with a political commitment from the parties.”

She also urged all parties to refrain from taking any measures that may complicate the negotiation process.

Tunisia, a non-permanent member of the council, had submitted a draft resolution to prevent the second filling of the Renaissance Dam’s lake.

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