July 31, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – Algeria has proposed to facilitate an agreement between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Algerian Foreign Minister Ramadan Lamara who arrived in Khartoum after a visit to Addis Ababa held talks on Saturday with his Sudanese counterpart Mariam al-Mahdi, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and Head of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
Following his meeting with al-Burhan, the Sovereign Council said that the visiting Algerian top diplomat proposed holding a meeting between the leaders of the three riparian countries over the GERD issue.
“Sudan’s leadership welcomed the Algerian initiative calling for a direct meeting between the three countries to reach a solution to their differences over the Renaissance Dam,” al-Mahdi told reporters after the meeting.
“The Algerian initiative is in line with Article (10) of the Declaration of Principles signed between the three countries in Khartoum on 23 March 2015,” further stressed the Sudanese minister.
Article 10 related to the settlement of the dispute on the GERD filling or operating provides that the three countries can seek mediation or refer the matter to the heads of states or governments.
She added that the meeting discussed the situation in Libya and the role of the neighbouring countries to achieve peace and stability in Libya.
During his visit to Addis Ababa, Lamamra discussed his proposal with the Ethiopian prime minister and his deputy and foreign minister.
The Algerian top diplomat arrived in Cairo on Saturday where he is expected to meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi on Sunday.
Following his arrival in Cairo, he tweeted he would meet his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on Saturday evening, and President al-Sissi as well as the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States on Sunday.
Sudan and Egypt seek a legally binding agreement over the filling and operation of the GERD but Ethiopia refuses this deal saying it means to prevent future projects on the Blue Nile.
This month also, Ethiopia conducted the second unilateral filling of the giant dam but Sudan and Egypt say that the upstream country failed to store the planned 13.5 bcm.
Congolese President and Chairperson of the African Union Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi is expected to call the three countries to resume the negotiations but it is not clear when and how.
Sudan and Egypt call for a bigger role for a quadripartite mediation led by the African Union, but Ethiopia says only the African Union can mediate the process.