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Egypt signs US proposed agreement on Ethiopia’s controversial dam

Egypt said it signed US proposed agreement on the rules for filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian renaissance Dam (GERD) being built by Ethiopia on the Nile at Washington DC.Egypt decided to initial the agreement because it felt that the agreement protected its water interests. “Egypt is looking forward to Sudan and Ethiopia to follow suit, accept the agreement and sign it as soon as possible,” Egypt said in a statement over the weekend.

Ethiopia did not participate in the final negotiations in Washingron DC with prior notice and Sudan attended the meeting but did not sign the agreement for undisclosed reason.

Egypt says Ethiopia’s absence during the last US facilitated talks in Washington was “unjustified” and its decision to begin filling of the GERD prior to common agreement is against international laws and that of the DOP.

Egypt said the agreement protects its water interests and it is looking forward to Sudan and Ethiopia to follow suit, accept the agreement and sign it as soon as possible.

US said it shares concerns of downstream populations in Sudan and Egypt due to “unfinished work on the safe operation of the GERD, and the need to implement all necessary dam safety measures in accordance with international standards before filling begins”.

The United States also announced it will continue to work with Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan until they sign an accord on the hydropower dam.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the three countries had expected to sign an agreement in Washington this week on the filling and operation of the over $4 billion GERD project until Ethiopia skipped the meeting.

Mnuchin said he looked forward to Ethiopia concluding its internal consultations to allow a signing of the deal “at the earliest possible time”, and stressed that final testing and filling of the dam “should not take place without an agreement.” 

Published on 28.04.2020

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