19 October 2017

East Africa: Ethiopia Committed to Share GERD Information With Egypt, Sudan

Ethiopia is fully committed to sharing relevant information on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with Egypt and Sudan to help address concerns and resolve misunderstandings, said Dr. Eng. Seleshi Bekele, Minister Water, Irrigation and Electricity.

During the 16th Tripartite National Committee (TNC) meeting of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, the Minister also added that the visit to GERD has offered the TNC to insight fully into the design and construction of the dam and related structures. "The collective visit is also historical in a sense and opens more opportunities for dialogue, transparency and exchange of information," he said.

"Our commitment as ever is based on key principles of win-win, no significant harm, equitable utilization and cooperation," he added.

According to Dr. Mohammed Abdel Aty, Minister of Water and Irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Ethiopia's role in organizing the GERD site visit was an insight regarding the development on the ground related to it.

He also expressed that Egypt would like to reiterate its commitment to the agreement on declaration of principles concluded by the Heads of State and Government of Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sudan in Khartoum in 2015 and as well to complete the joint studies within the agreed time frame.

And he also stressed that all the three countries can avoid any further delay in the work of the consultant in all the required procedures for finalizing the studies.

As to him, this will pave the way for the three countries to use the outcomes of these studies.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Mutaz Musa Abdalla Salim Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity of Sudan expressed his gratitude to Ethiopia for the invitation to visit the GERD site.

He said the Sudanese government is aware of the fact that the Blue Nile links populations of the three countries and supports the incomes and livelihoods, and provides invaluable ecosystem services for millions of people.

He noted that this also creates hydro-logical, social and economic inter-dependencies between these countries and societies.

"While the Blue Nile is embedding a small potential for discourse and conflict, yet it provides generous opportunities for cooperation and promotion of regional peace and security as well as sustainable economic growth," he added.

Mindful of this potential, he said "we have to focus on tipping the balance from potential conflict to cooperation, by supporting each other in our endeavor to resolve our differences on the Inception Report and move forward to agree on the outcomes of the two envisaged studies."

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