(ERA) Following Ethiopia’s rejection of the Great Renaissance Dam negotiation with Egypt and Sudan, the foreign ministry of Egypt has opened a war of words against Ethiopia. The Foreign Ministry criticized Ethiopia for failing to participate in the US sponsored negotiation. Ethiopia in return accused Egypt of trying to influence the whole process through defamation and threat. Ethiopia also questioned the US position on the process. According to Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew of Ethiopia, the US clearly sided with Egypt against the interests of Ethiopia.
Egypt uses the Arab League to pressure Ethiopia to accept the proposed agreement prepared by the US. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry travels to Jordan, Saudi Arabia , the UAE, Iraq , Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman to deliver a message of gratitude for the support they have shown to Egypt. Ethiopia condemned the recent statement of the Arab League which urges Ethiopia to accept the US sponsored agreement without further delay.
Ethiopia is the major source of the Nile, contributing 86% of the water flow that reaches Egypt. It has repeatedly said that the Grand Renaissance Dam was solely designed to generate electricity and won’t decrease the average flow of the water that reaches Egypt. Egypt fears that the Dam project would affect the volume of water, and demands Ethiopia to commit itself to send 40 Billion cubic meters of water every year to Egypt.
Egypt is pushing Arab League members to take punitive measures against Ethiopia, but no Arab country has committed itself to take such measures. Sudan, another party to the negotiation and a member of the Arab League has rejected the Arab League’s statement on the ground that it didn’t reflect its national interest. In the Tripartite negotiation Sudan sides with Ethiopia which puts Egypt in unfavourable position in the coming negotiations.
Ethiopia announced that the construction of the Dam and the filling process would continue as planned despite opposition from Egypt, the US and the Arab League. The first filling of the Dam is expected in July.