Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, emphasized on Saturday that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) being built by Addis Ababa, which Cairo and Khartoum fear will affect them, will be beneficial to all.
Following his visit to Cairo and meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Ahmed stated that storing Nile water is essential to address droughts. He assured, “We do not intend to harm our neighbors, and the Nile River enhances relations among the region’s countries,” adding, “We share the Nile River with the downstream countries with trust and integrity.”
Ahmed also called for working with Egypt “to achieve sustainable development and establish a genuine partnership to fulfill the aspirations of our peoples.” On Thursday, Sisi and Ahmed agreed to finalize an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam within four months. The joint statement released by the Egyptian presidency stated that the leaders “discussed ways to overcome the current deadlock in Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations.”
The negotiations between Ethiopia and the downstream countries have been ongoing since 2011, aiming to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam. However, numerous rounds of negotiations between the three countries have not yet resulted in a comprehensive agreement.
While Egypt and Sudan have repeatedly urged Ethiopia to postpone its plans for filling the dam until a comprehensive agreement is reached, Addis Ababa announced on June 22 its readiness to launch the fourth phase of filling the dam with a capacity of about 74 billion cubic meters of water during the 2023-2024 hydrological year.