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Today, Sunday, the head of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, began a two-day visit to Ethiopia, during which he discussed with Ethiopian leaders bilateral relations and a number of issues of common concern.
“Al-Burhan”, according to an official statement issued by the Council, is accompanied by a delegation that includes the Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge, Omar Qamar al-Din, the Director of the General Intelligence Service, General Jamal Abdul Majeed, and the head of the Military Intelligence Authority, Major General Yasser Muhammad Othman.
Lieutenant General Al-Burhan’s visit to Ethiopia comes after his visit to Egypt last Tuesday, headed by a delegation that includes the in-design Foreign Minister, the directors of General Intelligence, and the Military Intelligence Authority.
In addition, negotiations will resume today, Sunday, under the auspices of the African Union, negotiations to resolve differences over filling and operating the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, in the presence of the water ministers in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, with the aim of reaching a binding agreement demanded by Egypt and Sudan, in respect of the agreement of principles signed between the three countries in 2015, and no justification Legal for Ethiopias attempts to include the Nile Water Agreement in the Renaissance Dam negotiations.
A statement issued by the Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation and Water indicated that the negotiations that begin today, Sunday, will focus on setting a clear and detailed agenda according to a tight and specific timetable for the negotiation path and a clear list of the outputs of the previous rounds that must be reached in a way that can be used by observers and experts in a manner different from the previous ones.
Sudanese sources said that Khartoum refused, in the last meeting of the Renaissance Dam negotiations, to continue negotiations with the same approach that led to a dead end in the past rounds, and that Sudan submitted multiple proposals to give a greater role to experts and observers in the negotiation process to bring the views of the three countries closer.
The sources added that Sudan stresses the importance of focusing on aspects that could block the way to prolonging the negotiation process and return to the solutions included in the memorandum of experts of the African Union, the World Bank, and the observers of the European Union and the United States, building on points of agreement and addressing the controversial aspects.
While sources concerned with the Nile water file confirmed that the current negotiations are facing a number of challenges that pose obstacles to the success of the negotiations called for by South Africa, which is chairing the current session of the African Union, including the difficulty of agreeing on the dispute settlement mechanism stipulated in the Declaration of Principles signed in 2015 and close coordination, And the exchange of information on the operation of water dams in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, especially the Sudanese Roseires Dam, about 30 km from the Sudanese dam, especially in light of the big difference in the storage capacity between the Sudanese dam and the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, as the first capacity is only 6 billion cubic meters compared to 74 One billion dollars for the Ethiopian dam, which may lead to major technical problems, in the absence of a tight, rapid and accompanying mechanism for coordination and information exchange between the two sides.
The sources indicated that Addis Ababa believes that the issue should be confined to resolving differences in agreeing on guidelines for the operation and filling of the dam, and to be satisfied with raising the controversial aspects of the dispute settlement mechanism to the three heads of state in the event of failure to resolve them.
According to the sources, Egypt and Sudan adhere to reaching a binding agreement in accordance with the rules of international law, and experts of the World Bank, the African Union, and the United States of America agree with them on this. Egypt stresses the need to include a clause in the agreement that allows contentious issues to be raised to a third party for resolution, while Ethiopia believes that the role of the party The third should be limited to advice only.
The sources pointed out that Ethiopia tends to “procrastinate” by using a negotiating tactical paper to avoid reaching a “binding” agreement that may restrict its ambitions to build more dams, whether on the Blue Nile or the Atbara and Sobat rivers, which are two rivers linking Ethiopia with other countries.
She indicated that one of the important Ethiopian tactics pursued by Ethiopia is to manage the negotiation in a way that enables it to obtain water quotas that will benefit from it in its agricultural projects that depend on rain irrigation, which causes great problems to Ethiopian farmers.
- The situation in Egypt