Egypt proposes World Bank takes part in resolving Ethiopia dam dispute

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Egypt has confirmed its keenness to complete the technical negotiations within the framework of the tri-committee supervising Al Nahda Dam dispute to reach an agreement with Ethiopia.

Egypt stated that the impartiality of the World Bank’s involvement is trusted for its ability to use highly qualified technical experts.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Addis Ababa to converse with the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Workneh Gebeyehu and discuss the bilateral cooperation between the two countries and the results of the latest round of meetings of the tripartite technical committee supervising the dam dispute.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that during the meeting, the Foreign Minister expressed Egypt’s deep concern over the delay in the work of the tripartite technical committee.

He pointed out that the continued inability of the committee to reach an agreement on the preliminary report prepared by the consultancy office would disturb the completion of the required reports on the impact of the dam on the downstream countries within the time frame provided for in the first agreement.

The Foreign Ministry Spokesman added that Shoukry stressed that Egypt had dealt flexibly with the initial report and had accepted it without reservations, convinced that the studies were of a technical nature and could not be miscommunicated or politicized, in addition to Egypt’s confidence in the professionalism and impartiality of the advisory office.

He noted that the agreement signed in March 2015 was clear in emphasizing the importance of completing assessments and negotiations before filling in the dam in accordance with Article V of the agreement, provided that the three countries involved should agree on the rules for filling the dam and the way it will operate.

The Ethiopian Foreign Minister stressed his country’s commitment to the principal agreement, and that his country is keen on the success of negotiations and cooperation between the three countries, noting that Ethiopia does not seek to impair Egypt’s water resources.

Abu Zaid explained that Minister Shoukry stressed the sensitivity of Egypt’s water security, and therefore it is not possible to rely on promises and show good intentions only, but what is required is the commitment of the three countries to implement the agreed upon principles, especially with regard to relying on technical assessments as a basis and reference for the first filling of the dam and its annual operating system.

He concluded by saying that the Ethiopian side promised to study the Egyptian proposal and respond at the earliest opportunity.

The Egyptian side expressed its intention to share the proposal with Sudan in the coming days.

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