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Egypt complains to UN of Ethiopia's measures on Nile dam fill, Sudan ready for interim deal

Christian Fernsby |
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Egypt has sent a letter to UN Security Council to reaffirm its "complete rejection" of Ethiopia's unilateral measures on filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

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he letter sent on Friday accuses Ethiopia of frustrating efforts to reach a tripartite agreement on the rules of filling and operating the dam and attempting to impose "a fait accompli" on the two downstream countries Egypt and Sudan "through unilateral measures and steps that constitute a clear violation of the rules of international law," according to a ministry statement.

Ethiopia plans to go ahead with the second filling of the GERD in July, while Egypt and Sudan are concerned that the move might affect their share of the Nile water resources, Xinhua reported.

Last week, Egyptian Manpower Minister Mohamed Saafan told a virtual conference of the International Labor Organization that Ethiopia's unilateral filling of the dam without a prior agreement would significantly harm the agriculture sector in the two downstream countries.

Decade-long negotiations failed to reach an agreement regulating the filling and operation of the dam, including those hosted earlier by the United States and recently by the African Union.

Egypt and Sudan currently seek to form an international quartet that includes the African Union, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations to mediate in the tripartite GERD talks, but the proposal has been rejected by Ethiopia.

Sudan will only be willing to strike an interim deal with Ethiopia over its controversial Nile dam on conditions including an assurance of further talks, the water minister said Monday.

"Given the time constraints, Sudan will accept an interim agreement based on certain conditions which include signing on all the terms that have been already agreed," Water Minister Yasser Abbas told reporters in Khartoum.

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