Addis Ababa — The Government of Ethiopia said that nothing would stop the 2nd filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD's) reservoir in the coming July 2021 .
The above remark came yesterday in a joint briefing Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy Eng. Seleshi Bekele (Ph.D.) as well as Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador Woineshet Tadesse held with African ambassadors and diplomats.
Noting that the construction of the dam is going on as planned, Seleshi appreciated the tireless efforts the government of South Africa and its leaders waged to bridge the gaps between the negotiating parties.
The minister reiterated Ethiopian government's unparalleled political will and commitment to give the issue a viable solution by sticking to the principles of equitable and reasonable utilization of the river basin without causing significant harm to downstream countries.
Demeke on his part gave a briefing to the ambassadors regarding the current status of the humanitarian assistance process in the Tigray State and the preparations for the upcoming General Elections.
The ambassadors appreciated the Ethiopian government's initiative to brief them on crucial issues of the country which will enable them to understand the matters clearly and better communicate with leaders of their respective countries.
In related development, Demeke held talks yesterday with EU Envoy and Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister, Pekka Haavisto on the ongoing rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in Tigray.
The deputy premier expressed the concerns of the Ethiopian Government regarding the statements by the EU's Commission, particularly the decision to postpone the budget sector support. "The action is counterproductive to the collective efforts underway to timely and effectively address the humanitarian situation and sustain the development gains achieved since the reform has begun."
He also called on the EU to understand the situation, and as a strategic partner, to continue to play a constructive role to help Ethiopia overcome its challenges.
On the border situation with Sudan, Demeke stressed Ethiopia's unflinching stance of respecting the pre-November 06 status quo and allowing the established mechanisms to continue to discharge their duties.
Haavisto said on his part that the EU understands the measures that the Ethiopian Government is taking to address the humanitarian situation and emphasized the need to scale up access and provisions of humanitarian assistance to Tigray.
The envoy also urged Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to step up its efforts in investigating human rights cases and expressed the importance of maintaining the strategic partnership between Ethiopia and the EU, it was learnt.