Egypt has declared the recent discussions regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as unsuccessful. However, Egypt has affirmed its intention to observe the dam’s filling and operation process.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in Egypt stated on Tuesday, “Egypt retains its right, as per international charters and agreements, to safeguard its water resources and national security should any damage occur.”
In a statement, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said Egypt had “misrepresented” Ethiopia’s positions in the talks, adding that
Egypt’s “colonial era mentality and erected roadblocks against efforts toward convergence”.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in July that they would aim to finalize a deal over the disputed dam within four months. Years of stop-start talks have proved unsuccessful.
Egypt has long opposed the project because of worries about its future supplies of water from the Nile, on which it is heavily dependent. Sudan, another downstream country, has expressed concern about the regulation and safety of its own water supplies and dams.
Ethiopia, which argues that it is exercising its right to economic development, said in September it had completed its final phase of filling a reservoir for a massive hydroelectric power plant at the dam on the Blue Nile.
“The meeting was unsuccessful due to Ethiopia’s persistent refusal … to accept any of the technical or legal compromise solutions that would safeguard the interests of all three countries,” the Egyptian statement said.
Ethiopia, however, said Egypt was unwilling to compromise. “Ethiopia remains committed to reach an amicable and negotiated settlement that addresses the interests of the three countries and looks forward to the resumption of the negotiation,” the foreign ministry statement said.