Saturday 04 July 2020
The Ministry of Irrigation spokesman, Mohamed El Sebaei, said that the main points of the dispute with Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam, are not only related to the issue of Egypt’s water share, but also to other issues that include the safety of the dam and its damages.
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia continued, on Saturday, the negotiations that were launched Friday through video technology in the presence of African mediators and observers.
Al-Sibai added, in exclusive statements to “Sky News Arabia”, published on the ministry’s official page on the website “Facebook”, that the core points that are still in dispute with Addis Ababa, are technical and legal, including the integrity of the dam’s body.
He talked about the existence of Egyptian observations and objections to the studies that dealt with the environmental effects of the construction of the Renaissance Dam, in addition to the safety of the dam, whose studies have not been completed, and no results were presented on the downstream country.
He continued: “We have many fears in this regard. In the event of any damage occurring in the Renaissance Dam, this may result in damages to the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan, so Cairo is keen to complete this file.”
He explained that the dispute is now not related to the impact of the dam on Egypt from the waters of the Nile, insofar as it relates to the cooperative form of joint river management as followed and agreed upon in international law, as well as the serious damage that may be caused to the two countries.
He pointed out that Cairo needs to have a clear agreement on dealing with the issue of drought and protracted drought, the operating mechanism, the filling mechanism and its steps, the wastewater and its relationship to drought, and cooperation in managing the dams and linking them to each other.
He said that the Ethiopian side: “has not yet had the real will to resolve these points,” expressing his hope to change this position to reach an agreement.
An irrigation spokesman warned that if there is no desire by all parties to resolve the crisis and mutual cooperation, “then we will face a huge problem,” stressing that the amount of water flowing from the Nile and the safety of the dam is an existential issue for Egypt and Sudan.
Yesterday, the three parties held a round of negotiations under the auspices of South Africa, the current president of the African Union, in the presence of observers from the United States of America and the European Union.