AU chief welcomes recent dev’ts on GERD negotiations

ADDIS ABABA, May 25 (EI) — The African Union (AU) has welcomed the recent developments related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as the three African countries Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan set to resume technical level engagements on the disputed grand Ethiopian dam.

The statement was made by the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, over the weekend following the Egyptian government’s announcement regarding its willingness to resume negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia over the filling of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“The Chairperson of the AU Commission welcomes the recent developments related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and commends Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan for agreeing to resume technical level engagements through their Water Ministers to resolve outstanding differences and reach an amicable solution,” an AU statement issued over the weekend read.

Chairperson of the 55-member pan African bloc further “encouraged the tripartite to pursue their engagements in good faith, guided by principles of cooperation, common understanding and transparency, as stipulated in the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the GERD.”

Mahamat also stressed that “the AU Commission stands ready to assist all parties in finding a peaceful resolution and achieving a mutually beneficial agreement.”

On Friday, Egypt said it is willing to resume negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia over the filling of the controversial grand Ethiopian dam, state-run Ahram newspapers reported on Friday.

“Egypt is always ready to enter into negotiations and participate in upcoming meetings between the ministers of irrigations of the three countries,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

It added that “serious and constructive talks would contribute to a fair, balanced, and comprehensive agreement.”

The statement came after the announcement on Thursday by Khartoum and Addis Ababa “to resume technical discussions about the filling and operation of the dam.”

On Thursday, Prime Minister of Sudan Abdalla Hamdok and Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed held an online meeting and agreed to resume the talks in order to reach a final agreement on the filling and operation policies of the GERD.

The meeting came after the Ethiopian government said it would not delay filling the GERD, which the East African country began constructing in 2011.

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