Egypt discussed with South Africa on Friday the necessity of reaching a comprehensive legal agreement between all concerned parties regarding the rules for filling and operating the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
The statement disclosed that the two officials discussed: “Developments of positions on the Renaissance Dam file, and the tripartite negotiations that were recently held under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and in the presence of international observers.”
Al-Sisi stressed during the phone call: “The inevitability of elaborating a comprehensive legal agreement between all concerned parties regarding the rules for filling and operating the dam.”
The Egyptian president also reiterated his rejection of unilateral actions that would harm his country’s rights to the Nile waters.
In turn, Ramaphosa expressed that the approach undertaken by Egypt during the recent round of negotiations on the Renaissance Dam under the auspices of the AU, reflects a sincere political will to reach a solution to the crisis.
According to the same statement, the two sides agreed to: “Continue intensive coordination between the two countries on this vital issue.”
On Wednesday, the Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy retracted a statement he made on national television, in which he announced that the Ethiopian state will start filling the dam reservoir located in the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River.
This statement sparked media attention and widespread reactions in Sudan and Egypt, after which the Ethiopian minister asserted that his statement was misunderstood and that his country had not started filling the dam.
Ethiopia is adhering to filling and operating the dam in July, while Egypt and Sudan refuse this step unless a tripartite agreement is reached.
Egypt fears that its annual share of the Nile’s water, amounting to 55.5 billion cubic metres, will be affected, and demands reaching an agreement on several issues, including the safety of the dam and setting rules regarding the filling process in times of drought.
Addis Ababa explained that the reason behind building the dam is not to harm the interests of Egypt and Sudan, but rather to generate electricity and further development.