Is it the last Ethiopian position? Imad Al-Din Hussein

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Published in :
Monday 13 January 2020 – 10:45 PM
| Last updated :
Monday 13 January 2020 – 10:45 PM

Last Friday evening, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a very important statement about the stalling of the Renaissance Dam negotiations with the Ethiopian side. The statement is important because it was comprehensive and clear, and putting points on the letters in the process of negotiations on the rules for filling and operating the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, in relation to the previous negotiating sessions.
In all previous Egyptian official statements, the language was very calm, and even very diplomatic, so that Egypt would not be accused of being strict and trying to undermine the negotiations. Given the last Ethiopian position, we have to acknowledge that this clear and decisive language should have been the basis since the beginning of the negotiation, so as not to be surprised that Ethiopia puts us before the fait accompli, that is, the completion of the dam before the agreement, and that it will actually start the filling process in next July.
The essence of what was stated in this statement was that it was not only a response to the fallacies in my statement the Ethiopian Foreign and Irrigation Ministries, but to respond to all Ethiopian fallacies from the beginning of the negotiation.
The Egyptian statement clearly stated that Ethiopias stances are intransigent and exaggerated, and it is trying to impose the fait accompli, extending its control over the Blue Nile, and filling and operating the Al-Nahsa Dam without the slightest consideration of the water interests of the downstream countries, especially Egypt, in violation of Ethiopias obligations according to international treaties and norms.
One of the most important points in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement saying that Ethiopias refusal to drain the natural revenue during the operation of the dam is due to its intention to employ this dam, which is supposed to target only electricity generation, to release its hand in carrying out future projects and exploiting the Blue Nile resources without regard to Egypt’s water interests and rights .
In the statement, Egypt denied that it proposed to fill the dam in a period of 12 to 21 years, as Ethiopia claims, and that it did not specify specific years for filling. Rather, the three countries agreed a year ago to fill the dam in stages that the speed of its implementation depends on the annual revenue of the Blue Nile, That is, the dam can be filled in 6 or 7 years, if the river’s revenue is average, and in the event of a drought, the dam can generate 80% of the electricity, which means that the Ethiopian side will bear the burden of drought in small proportions.
The statement also said that Egypt proposed setting mechanisms and rules to adapt to hydrological changes and to deal with the years of drought that may coincide with the process of filling the Renaissance Dam, but Ethiopia refuses that Egypt should not bear the burden of drought alone, which is inconsistent with the rules of international law.
It is striking that whenever Egypt calls for agreeing on effective steps to deal with the years of drought, Ethiopia is waving its willingness to fill the dam unilaterally, which is contrary to international law and the declaration of principles in 2015.
The dangerous thing is that Ethiopia issues a very false image of its citizens and public opinion that Egypt is trying to monopolize the waters of the Nile!
I hope that the Ethiopian intransigence is a negotiating method, so that it reveals its true position in the negotiations that will start today in the American capital, Washington, in the presence of the foreign ministers and the irrigation of the three countries, as well as the American Finance Minister Stephen Mnuchin, and the President of the World Bank, David Malpas.
But if this is the original position of the Ethiopian side, i.e. insistence on filling the dam even if the two countries did not reach a clear and fair agreement, the only meaning is its insistence on dealing with the Blue Nile as it is only an Ethiopian river, and my country does not belong to the estuary especially Egypt, which depends on it It exceeds 85% of its water needs annually.
I also hope that the great water expert d. Mohamed Nasr Allam, that the Ethiopians – unlike some malicious voices – wish to reach a comprehensive, integrated agreement to store and operate the dam. Allam sends a message to the Egyptian people, as he said on his Facebook page saying: “Rest assured, because without Egypt’s cooperation with Ethiopia to transfer most of the dam’s electricity intended for export to neighboring countries, the dam will not achieve its economic goals, he considers this matter not a threat, but it is to reassure the Egyptians.” .
We hope that the United States will be able to convince Ethiopia that intransigence and failure to reach an agreement will not be in its interest, or in the interest of the whole region and stability in it, and we hope that the American position will be objective and understandable and not devote to a situation that tries to impose on Egypt the purchase of the water it needs From Ethiopia, as some are promoting.
We must not anticipate the events, but the lesson learned from these discussions is that the “Red Eye” of Ethiopia must be shown from now on, until it reaches a critical message that Egypt will not give up its water rights.





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