Sudan caused the cancellation of a direct tripartite meeting with Egypt and Ethiopia on the Renaissance Dam today, Monday, in light of the failure to respond to a request made to hold bilateral meetings for each country separately with African Union experts and observers.
The Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources said in a statement: Based on the outcomes of the tripartite ministerial meeting between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on filling and operating the (Ethiopian) Renaissance Dam, which was held on Sunday, Sudan submitted a request to hold a bilateral meeting with the African Union experts and observers on the same evening.
“Sudan did not receive a response to his request, and instead received an invitation to continue direct tripartite negotiations, which prompted Sudan to reserve its participation in today’s meeting.” The apartment is between the three parties. “
At the same time, the Sudanese Ministry stressed Khartoum’s adherence to the negotiating process under the auspices of the African Union, in implementation of the principle of African solutions to African problems, provided that experts play a more effective role in facilitating negotiations.
In turn, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation issued a statement saying that within the framework of the agreement yesterday, Sunday, to hold a round of negotiations between the three countries (Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt) that will extend for a week, Ethiopia sent an invitation to hold the meeting today, Monday, in which the meeting was attended by water ministers from Egypt and Ethiopia. Technical and legal delegations from the two countries, observers and experts appointed by the African Union Commission.
She added that Sudan did not participate in the meeting, and therefore the meeting was terminated and it was agreed to raise the matter to the Minister of International Relations in South Africa in her capacity as the current President of the African Union, so that future steps would be discussed during the six-party ministerial meeting scheduled to be held on January 10, especially since the course of Negotiations require the participation of the three countries to reach a binding agreement on the rules for filling and operating the Renaissance Dam.
Yesterday, Sunday, Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa agreed, at the end of a six-party meeting held by the foreign and irrigation ministers of the three countries, to hold meetings this week with the African Union team of experts to discuss the dam crisis.
Despite the agreement to continue the meetings, yesterday’s meeting witnessed a continuation of the divergence of the positions of Cairo and Addis Ababa, at a time when the Egyptian Foreign Ministry insisted that a binding agreement must be reached before the start of the second phase of the Renaissance Dam mobilization, and that this agreement must achieve the common interests of the three countries and secure Egypt’s water rights and interests, Ethiopia confirmed that it would not agree to any deal on the dam that in any way limits its right to use the waters of the Nile.
Ahead of Sunday’s meeting, Ethiopian Minister of Irrigation and Water Slichi Bakli revealed in a tweet that the construction rate in the Renaissance Dam reached 78%, indicating that work on the dam is proceeding at a rapid pace, in a clear message that his country continues to build the dam regardless of the course of negotiations.
The three countries have been engaged in stalled negotiations over the dam over a period of 9 years, amid mutual accusations between Cairo and Addis Ababa of intransigence and an attempt to impose unrealistic solutions.
Addis Ababa insists on filling the dam with water even if it does not reach an agreement on it with Cairo and Khartoum, while the latter two insist on the need to first reach a tripartite agreement so that their annual share of the Nile water is not negatively affected.