Ethiopia and Sudan have ignored an Egyptian invitation for a meeting this week in Cairo to resume discussions on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Last week, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, invited the foreign and irrigation ministers and intelligence chiefs of the two African countries for a meeting, which was set to take place today, to resume discussions on the Ethiopian dam following the failure of the recent talks which were held in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
Speaking to Egyptian media yesterday, Shoukry regretted the fact that Addis Ababa and Khartoum didn’t respond to his invitation.
“We have received no response neither from the Ethiopian nor the Sudanese side on our invitation to resume negotiations over the Renaissance Dam,” Shoukry said, adding: “We lost another chance to reach a solution for the Dam’s technical problem.”
Egypt, the minister explained, has exerted all efforts during the Khartoum meeting, and negotiated “in good faith and appreciation of the interests of all the partners,” stressing that “Cairo proposed a vision that benefits everyone”.
“Despite all our efforts, we do not see a reciprocal interest from the other side [Sudan and Ethiopia],” the Egyptian diplomat pointed out. “We will wait until there is a desire from our partners to raise the matter once more.”
Shoukry also stressed that “everybody should know that Egypt will not be forced to accept a situation where one party is forcing its will on another.”
“The Egyptian government will continue to defend the rights of the Egyptian people to the water of the Nile by numerous means at its disposal.”
He also denied claims that Egypt “hindered” reaching an agreement during the Khartoum gathering. “Egypt is conducting itself with transparency, and any claim to the contrary is an attempt to confuse the issue and distract from the reality of the situation and from who it is that is actually obstructing progress on the issue,” Shourky reiterated.
Cairo fears a possible negative impact of the Renaissance Dam on its annual share of Nile water, Egypt’s main water source; while Addis Ababa says that the dam will be highly profitable, especially when exploited in the production of electricity, and will not affect the downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt.