Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – On Monday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as a project that “guarantees the mutual benefit of the countries of the region and the riparian countries.”
Ministry spokesman, Ambassador Meles Alam, told the Ethiopian News Agency that the dam is of “great importance to regional integration.”
He added that the dam “is a power generation plant that was built with the wealth, knowledge and work of Ethiopians who fought steadfastly to complete the project.”
He continued, “The successful completion of the fourth and final round of filling the Renaissance Dam is a gift to the Ethiopians in their new year (according to the local calendar),” and noted that “the fourth and final round of filling was carried out based on the policy of Ethiopia’s sovereignty and enabling 65 million citizens to obtain electricity.”
He said that his country “was exposed to enormous pressure because of the dam, but it succeeded in overcoming the challenges through strict adherence to the principle and commitment,” as he put it.
He stated, “Even if the dam is built with Ethiopian internal capabilities and on their sovereign lands, the benefit of the dam goes beyond the nation.”
The speaker highlighted one of the “benefits” of the dam, by referring to “the energy integration work that Ethiopia is implementing with neighboring countries, which in turn will enhance economic integration.”
He said, “The dam has benefits in protecting the countries located on the banks of the river from sediments and floods and ensuring a regular flow of water,” and added, “The dam is a project that should be a source of cooperation because it guarantees mutual benefits for the countries downstream and along the corridor, as well as the countries of the region.”
It is noteworthy that the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, on Sunday, in which it described Ethiopia’s announcement of the completion of the fourth filling of the Renaissance Dam reservoir as “a violation of the Declaration of Principles signed between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan in 2015, and a legal violation.”
She said in the statement that she published on Facebook: “In connection with what was announced, on Sunday, regarding Ethiopia’s completion of the fourth filling of the Renaissance Dam reservoir, this is considered a continuation by Ethiopia in violating the Declaration of Principles signed between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan in 2015, which stipulates the necessity of… The three countries agreed on the rules for filling and operating the Ethiopian dam before commencing the filling process.”
She added: “Ethiopia’s taking of such unilateral measures constitutes a disregard for the interests and rights of the downstream countries and their water security, which are guaranteed by the rules of international law.”
She continued, “This approach, and the resulting negative effects, places a burden on the course of the resumed negotiations, which have been set for four months to be completed. It is hoped that the next round scheduled to be held in Addis Ababa will witness a tangible and real breakthrough on the path to reaching an agreement on… Rules for filling and operating the dam.
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