Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Asmaa Abdalla said Ethiopia will think twice before filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) reservoir before an agreement is reached with Egypt and Sudan.
She added that 90% of the negotiations related to the GERD project have been completed, and should be resumed.
In comments during a Saturday evening TV talk show broadcast on a Sudanese TV, Abdalla noted that Sudan’s letter to the UN Security Council outlined Khartoum’s position regarding the GERD issue. It came after both Ethiopia and Egypt sent letters to the Security Council to clarify their positions.
“Sudan is a main partner in the issue of the dam and negotiations, and not a mediator between Egypt and Ethiopia,” Abdalla said.
She reiterated Khartoum’s rejection of the commencement to fill the GERD’s reservoir before the conclusion of an agreement between the three parties.
Abdallah added that as large as GERD, which is located only 20kms from the Sudanese border, will impact the country. Sudan should have a stance, particularly as the dam has benefits but is also a source of concern.
The Sudanese Foreign Minister stressed Addis Ababa’s right to build dams and generate electricity to achieve development for the good of its people.
She highlighted, however, that it should also respect and commit to international agreements and legislations, as well as the Declaration of Principles which was signed by the three countries in 2015.
Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation, Yasser Abbas, who also appeared on the TV talk show, stressed the need for an agreement on GERD’s filing. He noted that Sudan will be the most affected by the dam’s construction.
Abbas said that the filling of GERD’s reservoir will affect storage in reservoirs at the Roseires and Sennar dams on the Blue Nile.