Egypt criticized Ethiopia’s decision to proceed with the second phase of filling the Renaissance Dam reservoir, warning of the consequences of exacerbating tensions in the region.
Mohamed Abdel-Aty, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, claimed Cairo had received official information from Addis Ababa about the commencement of the filling process, which Egypt fiercely opposes.
According to diplomats, the UN Security Council will meet on Thursday to discuss Ethiopia’s dam on the Nile River, whose construction project has sparked a conflict with Cairo and Khartoum, concerned about its influence on their water resources.
A statement issued by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry warned that Addis Ababa’s pursuit of its plans is a “dangerous development that once again reveals Ethiopia’s bad faith and insistence on taking unilateral measures to impose a fait accompli.”
The statement indicated that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met his Sudanese counterpart, Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, in New York. They agreed on the need to reach a legally binding agreement on filling and running the Renaissance Dam in a way that considers the interests of the three nations and protects downstream countries’ rights from the project’s damages to Egypt and Sudan.
Cairo and Khartoum embarked on a diplomatic mission to establish a legally binding agreement on the Renaissance Dam’s functioning, but the talks stalled multiple times.
Egypt and Sudan want Ethiopia to wait until a binding agreement is reached on the management of the dam.
The Ethiopian government maintains that the project is required to provide electricity to roughly 60% of the country’s population. Egypt considers the dam’s construction to be a threat to the country’s water supply.
Sudan has expressed concerns about the Ethiopian dam’s safety and the potential
consequences for Sudanese dams and water stations.
The overall amount of water that reaches Egypt and Sudan would rely on the monsoon rains that fall in Ethiopia, according to Mohamed Ghanem, a spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation, to an Egyptian TV channel.