The speaker of the Arab Parliament, Bahraini MP Adel Al-Asoomi said on Wednesday that there is external party support for the Ethiopian move in targeting Egypt and Sudan, with regard to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) file.
During an interview with TeN satellite channel, Asoumi stressed the right of the Arab countries to preserve their right to life, and his support for the Egyptian approach on the GERD file; to stop any infringement or targeting of Egyptian water security. He stressed that protecting the water security of the Arab region is an inevitable necessity.
He addressed the Ethiopian side, saying, “respect the Egyptian wisdom and do not jeopardize African security, and stay away from encouraging the Ethiopian parties that receive external support from outside African countries. Your interests with Arab countries are more than your interests with any other party.”
Asoumi added that “development should stay away from wars, and consensus and a peaceful solution is the basis, and Egypt is sincere in its support for African countries.”
Negotiations over GERD have officially stopped since April 2021, after Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia failed to reach an understanding before the start of the second filling of the dam, which Ethiopia actually implemented in July.
Cairo and Khartoum reject Ethiopia’s insistence on filling the dam before reaching a binding agreement on filling and operation.
Egypt, which relies considerably on freshwater from the Nile, has voiced fears that the GERD would negatively impact the country’s water supply, and has insisted that measures be put into place to protect downstream countries in case of drought during the dam’s filling process.
Egypt and Sudan say they want a legally binding agreements, while Ethiopia says any pact should be advisory. Egypt and Sudan consider the dam a threat to their vital water supplies, while Ethiopia considers it essential for development and doubling its electricity production.
The downstream nations fear possible blows to water facilities, agricultural land, and overall availability of Nile water. Negotiations over the dam between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have stalled for years, with the three parties ultimately failing to reach any concrete agreements.
The disputed dam is the largest hydroelectric project in Africa, with a cost of more than four billion dollars. The construction of the dam began in 2011. It is considered to be one of Egypt’s most serious water issue.