Following the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday evening, the Saudi government asked for a straightforward procedure to start negotiations over Ethiopia’s Nile dam.
The Saudi government advocated for establishing a clear structure to begin negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The cabinet examined the current developments in the region and around the world. According to Issam bin Saad bin Saeed, Saudi Arabia’s Acting Minister of Information, it renewed the Kingdom’s support for Egypt and Sudan in safeguarding their lawful water rights.
He said that the cabinet wants the international community to “find a clear mechanism to start negotiations between the three countries, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, to get out of the Nile dam crisis in a way that achieves the interests of the Nile Basin countries and the future of the region’s peoples under international auspices and in agreement with the African Union and the Arab League.”
The Saudi cabinet reaffirmed: “The Kingdom’s sustained support for Egypt and Sudan in protecting their lawful water rights,” emphasizing the importance of water security stabilization for both countries, the Arab world, and the African continent.
Dangers of Ethiopia’s Nile dam
The rapid filling of the giant Nile dam at the headwaters of the Nile River — the world’s biggest waterway, supporting millions of people — could reduce water supplies to downstream Egypt by more than one-third, new USC research shows.
A water deficit of that magnitude, if unmitigated, could potentially destabilize a politically volatile part of the world by reducing arable land in Egypt by up to 72%. The study projects that economic losses to agriculture would reach $51 billion. The gross domestic product loss would push unemployment to 24%, displacing people and disrupting economies.