The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it rejects the “irresponsible” statements attributed to the Egyptian Foreign Minister, which it says are a “flagrant violation” of the United Nations Charter and Constitutive Act of the African Union.
“This also stands as a clear violation of the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles on the GERD signed on 23 March 2015 between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan… Egypt must cease its callous and unlawful pronouncements,” the Ethiopian statement added.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry affirmed Monday that Egypt has the right to defend the capabilities and interests of its people.
“All options are open, and all alternatives remain available, and Egypt has its capabilities, its foreign relations, and its capabilities,” Shoukry said.
During a telephone interview with “Hadith al-Qahira” (Cairo Talk) on the “al-Qahira wal Nas” (Cairo and the People) channel, Shoukry added that “we just declare all options open without defining specific procedures, and this serves the Egyptian interest in retaining all available alternatives.”
Egypt and Sudan consider the dam a threat to their vital water supplies, while Ethiopia considers it essential for development and doubling its electricity production.
Negotiations over the dam between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have stalled for years, with the three parties ultimately failing to reach any agreements.
Egypt and Sudan say they want a legally binding agreement on operating the dam, while the Ethiopian side says any pact should be advisory.
The downstream nations fear possible blows to water facilities, agricultural land, and overall availability of Nile water.
The disputed dam is the largest hydroelectric project in Africa, with a cost of more than four billion dollars.
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.