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Ethiopia proposes urgent solution to Renaissance Dam stalemate

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A general view of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, on December 2019 [EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP/Getty Images]

Ethiopia on Wednesday proposed holding a meeting of the African Union to end the stalemate in the Renaissance Dam negotiations between Addis Ababa, Cairo and Khartoum.

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry announced in a statement, of which Anadolu Agency obtained a copy: "Ethiopia believes that the solution to push the Renaissance Dam negotiations forward is to ask the African Union Chairman Felix Tshisekedi to convene a meeting to end the stalemate."

The statement quoted Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's response to a letter from his Sudanese counterpart Abdalla Hamdok on 13 April, stating: "The assumption that the negotiation process is failing is not true because we have seen some tangible results including the signing of the Declaration of Principles."

On 23 March, 2015, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed the Declaration of Principles for the Renaissance Dam, a framework agreement to demonstrate good intentions.

On 13 April, in a letter to his Egyptian and Ethiopian counterparts, Mostafa Madbouly and Abiy Ahmed, Hamdok called to hold a tripartite meeting within ten days to assess the Renaissance Dam negotiations.

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry indicated in a statement issued earlier on Wednesday: "The letter sent by the Ethiopian prime minister referred to the Kinshasa meeting and the agreement that was reached on the resumption of the stalled tripartite negotiations led by the African Union."

On 6 April, a round of negotiations ended in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, without achieving any progress, according to statements issued by Khartoum and Cairo.

Addis Ababa insists on a second filling of the dam next July, even if no agreement is reached, while Egypt and Sudan are adhering to a tripartite agreement to preserve their water facilities and ensure the continued flow of their annual share of the Nile water.

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