CAIRO – 6 July 2021: The Arab League has expressed its disturbance of Ethiopia’s letter to the UN the Security Council, in which the government rejected the intervention of the League in the Renaissance Dam, “claiming that this may undermine the friendly and cooperative relations between the League and the African Union.”
In a Tuesday Statement, the League affirmed that Ethiopia’s letter includes many inaccuracies. However, it was stated that the most dangerous thing included in the letter was an attempted “to drive a wedge between two regional organizations [The Arab League and African Union] that have always maintained, in the past and the present, the closest and most solid relations.”
The statement stressed that the Arab League is not willing to engage in any form of controversy or confrontation with the African Union, especially since it includes in its membership ten Arab countries, which are also members of the African Union.
The Arab League pointed out that it maintains different and multiple frameworks and mechanisms for consultation and joint action with the African Union. Along with an excellent friendly relationship that binds the Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Chairman of the Commission of the Union Moussa Faki
The statement explained that the Arab League intervention in the Renaissance Dam is a “natural and logical matter” considering that two of its members, [Egypt and Sudan] are direct parties of the issue.
Moreover, the two counties' ‘fair demands’ to reach a legal binding agreement on the operation and filling of the Renaissance Dam is backed with an Arab consensus
, stressing that the just positions of the two countries, which demand a comprehensive and binding agreement to fill and operate the reservoir. The Renaissance Dam is an Arab consensus.
“The Ethiopian endeavor is unfortunately trying to portray The Renaissance Dam issue as an Arab-African conflict, which is wrong and causes disturbance and regret,” The League stated in its statements, calling on Addis Ababa to reconsider this unconstructive approach.
Earlier, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a letter to the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly rejecting “the unwelcome meddling by the League of Arab States on the matter of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) following the League’s submission of a letter to the Council”
The Ministry said in a statement that its letter sated Addis Ababa disappointed “by the Arab League for addressing the UN on a matter that does not fall within its purview.”
It added that The League of Arab States “has a reputation for its unfettered and unconditional support to any claim Egypt has presented on the issue of the Nile” and that the approach followed by the League “risks undermining the friendly and cooperative relations between AU and the Arab League since the trilateral negotiation on the GERD is underway under the auspices of the African Union”
Egypt’s Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati received on Monday an official letter from his Ethiopian counterpart Seleshi Bekele confirming that Ethiopia started the second phase of filling the reservoir of its controversial mega dam.
Ethiopia has reiterated its plans to implement the second phase of filling in July and through the rainy season whether a deal is reached or not
Rounds of African Union-sponsored talks have collapsed with Egypt and Sudan blaming the collapse of negotiations on Ethiopia’s intransigence.
In response to Bekele’s Monday letter, Abdel Ati sent an official letter to the Ethiopian minister voicing Egypt’s categorical rejection of Ethiopia’s unilateral act, a statement by the Egyptian irrigation ministry spokesman read.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry re-sent the letter of Abdel Ati to the chief of the United Nations Security Council to brief the council on this “dangerous” update in light of the council’s planned session on GERD on Thursday, the statement read.