CAIRO – 14 April 2021: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok called his Egyptian and Ethiopian counterparts to meet within ten days, to discuss and evaluate the negotiations of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which reached a ‘deadlock'.
According to Sudanese news agency SUNA, Hamdok’s message stated that this invitation is a chance for the three premiers to discuss all possible options to proceed with the negotiation and renew political commitment of the three countries to reach an agreement in accordance with the agreement of principles signed on 23 March 2015.
Hamdok added that the negotiations have reached a deadlock, at a time when the construction work of the dam has reached an advanced stage, which makes reaching an agreement before the start of the dam’s second filling and operation is an urgent matter.
“It is unfortunate that 10 years of negotiations have elapsed without reaching an agreement,” Hamdok said.
He added: “despite the significant progress that has been made in the round of negotiations brokered by the United States of America and the World Bank, several points of disagreement still unresolved.”
He also noted that all talks brokered by the African Union since June 2020 ‘have failed’.
Hamdok explained that his invitation for the triple summit with Egypt’s Prime Minster Mostafa Madbouly, and Ethiopia’s prime Minster Abiy Ahmed comes in accordance with the Declaration of Principles, in which Article 10 stipulates that the issue be referred to the heads of government of the three countries if an agreement could not be reached.
And since the direct negotiations under the auspices of the African Union failed to reach an agreement, Sudan calls for a meeting between the prime ministers of the three countries via videoconferencing, Hamdok’s message said.
Earlier in April Egypt rejected an Ethiopian invitation to nominate operators for data exchange before the second filling of the grand dam, which Ethiopia intends to implement in July despite the absence of consensus among the three countries.
Rounds of negotiations among the three countries on GERD have reached a deadlock several times with Egypt blaming the failure on Ethiopia’s intransigence.
Egypt and Sudan insist that a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam should be reached before Ethiopia implements the second phase of dam filling.
Ethiopia, on the other hand, reiterated that it would complete filling the dam in July whether an agreement is reached or not.