ETHIOPIA — in an effort to reach an agreement on the filling of the much disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) foreign ministers of Arab countries met on Tuesday in Qatar to find a resolution.
The Foreign ministers yesterday backed calls for the United Nations Security Council to intervene in the prolonged GERD dispute.
Ethiopia has however today rejected the Arab league Resolution.
“The Arab League of States should know that utilization of the Nile waters is also an existential matter for Ethiopia.
“It is about lifting millions of its people out of abject poverty and meeting their energy, water and food security needs.
“Ethiopia is exercising its legitimate right to use its water resources in full respect of international law and the principle of causing no significant harm,” said Ethiopia’s foreign ministry
Ethiopia embarked on the construction of the GERD in 2011 hoping to produce electricity so as to relieve Ethiopia’s acute energy shortage and for electricity export to neighboring countries.
The massive gravity dam is almost complete and is expected to reach full generating capacity in 2023.
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been embroiled in a prolonged state dispute following Ethiopia’s move to construct the GERD dam on the Nile River.
Egypt heavily relies on the Nile River for 90 percent of its fresh water. Both Sudan and Egypt have raised concerns that the Ethiopian project would limit its water supply.
The contentious dam is said to possibly be Africa’s largest hydroelectric power generator and seventh largest in the world.
Negotiations between the three countries have been unsuccessful prompting Egypt and Sudan to seek the intervention of the United Nations Security Council.
Both countries have issued dire warnings to Ethiopia’s peace and stability should the latter fail to strike a deal.
Ethiopia has however said it regrets the move by Sudan and Egypt to “unnecessarily politicize” the negotiations and turning it into an Arab issue.
The Arab League resolution had called on the United Nations Security Council to take necessary measures to launch an active negotiation process which will reach a deal in a specific timeframe.