Creating new perspectives since 2009

Saudi backs Egypt, Sudan in Ethiopia dam dispute 

July 7, 2021 at 11:47 am

Workers at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia on 26 December 2019 [EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia said it supports Egypt and Sudan in “preserving their legitimate water rights,” Reuters reported the state news agency (SPA) saying yesterday.

“The kingdom supports the efforts of Egypt and Sudan to contain this crisis and their demands to solve it in accordance with the rules of international law. It also supports international moves aimed at finding a binding solution to end it,” SPA added.

“The Kingdom calls on the international community to intensify efforts to find a clear mechanism to start negotiations between the three countries [Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia] to get out of this crisis,” the news agency said.

The UN is due to hold a session on the Ethiopia dam tomorrow at the request of downstream countries Egypt and Sudan. The international body has already said it does not have scope to deal with the crisis.

Ethiopia insists on a second filling of the reservoir this month and in August, even if it does not reach an agreement with the downstream countries. It has confirmed that this is not intended to harm Egypt and Sudan, but is meant to generate electricity for development purposes.

The government in Cairo has warned the UN Security Council of “international friction” if the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue continues to be stalled. “After ten years of negotiations, the issue has evolved to cause international friction,” the foreign ministry said in a letter dated 25 June. “This could endanger international peace and security. Hence, Egypt chose to submit this issue to the UN Security Council.”

Ethiopia renews commitment to AU mediation in dam talks - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Ethiopia renews commitment to AU mediation in dam talks – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

READ: UN Security Council resolution sought over Ethiopian Renaissance Dam