By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegaye12
Addis Abeba – “The European Union should reconsider its biased stance on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam,” Ambassador Dina Mufti, the spokesperson of the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), said today at the Ministry’s biweekly presser to local media.
Recalling the recent joint statement between Egypt and the European Union regarding GERD, the spokesperson stated that EU’s stance about “Egypt’s water security” is not acceptable. Ambassador Dina assured that Ethiopia doesn’t have any plan to harm any of the Nile downstream riparian countries and has been strictly governed by the Tripartite Agreement. “For a country that shows a genuine stance on the dam, such a partisan statement is unacceptable,” the spokesperson said in condemnation.
Following the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting held on 20 June, the EU and Egypt released a joint statement highlighting the importance of “reaching a mutually acceptable and binding agreement on the filling and operations of the GERD.”
“For a country that shows a genuine stance on the dam, such a partisan statement is unacceptable”Ambassador Dina Mufti
“Reaching such an agreement as soon as possible is a top priority for the EU and Egypt in order to protect Egypt’s water security and promote peace and stability in the wider region. The EU stands ready to support African Union-led talks and to play a more active role, if useful and desirable to all parties, by putting forward its rich experience in the management of shared water resources in line with international law,” the joint statement reads.
Ambassador Dina denounced the statement as “senseless and biased”, and called upon the EU to reconsider its stance.
Two weeks ago, the Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al Sisi to the EU’s enlargement commissioner Olivér Várhelyi that the fate of the dam was an “existential issue” for Egypt and its people, and requested the bloc’s support during a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday (1 June).
In an interview, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, who was on a visit to Egypt last week, told Al Masry El Youm newspaper that the European Union (EU) is ready to broker a solution to the crisis caused by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) among Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan. The Commissioner also talked about the EU’s plan to work with Egypt on energy and said: “I think it (the deal) will take our partnership with Egypt to a whole new level. Egypt is already on the way to become a long-term energy supplier to Europe.” AS