Egypt Watch

Ethiopia to Egypt: We seek a non-binding agreement on the Renaissance Dam

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti revealed that his country seeks to reach a guiding agreement only, not binding, about the Grand Renaissance Dam, and the contentious issues in the legal aspects.

Mufti added, during a press conference, that the Ethiopian government is not looking for a binding agreement on the ongoing negotiations on the Renaissance Dam, only a guiding agreement that can be reviewed at any time. He added that during the recent negotiations they agreed on certain technical issues, and there are still some legal differences that require further negotiation. He pointed out that Ethiopia can fill the dam within three years, starting from the prolific rainy season, but prefers to extend the period to seven years in order to avoid overcoming the concerns of the downstream countries Egypt and Sudan and reach an agreement that is in the interest of the three countries. He denied knowing what the media reported about the administration of US President Donald Trump withholding some aid to Ethiopia because Addis Ababa had started the process of filling the Renaissance Dam, noting that relations with the United States are strategic and historic. He explained that his country cooperated with the United States in combating terrorism in the Horn of Africa.

Addis Ababa acknowledged the completion of the first phase of the al-Nahda Dam, days after a formal denial following news they had started filling it.