On Wednesday, Egypt and Sudan expressed their deep concern about the potential damage to the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam unilaterally, and without a legal and binding agreement regulating the work of this huge dam and preserving the rights and water interests of the two countries.
In a joint statement at the conclusion of Wednesday’s meetings in Khartoum, the two countries agreed on the need for coordination and action to protect security and peace in the region and the African continent.
Earlier, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Aty held an expanded session of talks with their Sudanese counterparts at the start of a visit to Sudan to discuss the Renaissance Dam file.
On Tuesday, the Sudanese Minister of Irrigation, Yasser Abbas, said that his country demands the necessity of signing a binding legal agreement between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt regarding the mechanism for filling and operating the dam, to avoid harm to the lives of 20 million Sudanese citizens living on the banks of the Blue Nile.
On the other hand, the Ethiopian Embassy in Britain announced the launch of an educational campaign and to collect donations to complete the Renaissance Dam project, and indicated – in a statement – that the campaign will continue until next August.
The objectives of the campaign are to mobilize financial and human resources to complete the Renaissance Dam, and to educate and raise awareness of the international community, friends of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian diaspora on the importance of the dam and its role in local and regional development.
It is noteworthy that Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta discussed with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa the file of the Renaissance Dam, the situation in the Horn of Africa, and the relations of the two countries, after months of tension between Kenya and Ethiopia on several regional and bilateral issues.
The last round of six-party negotiations between the foreign and irrigation ministers in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia regarding the Renaissance Dam took place last April in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but it failed to achieve any progress in order to reach a binding agreement.