Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday gave an assurance that his government will complete the Nile dam construction, resolve the border dispute with Sudan, as well as mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, reported Anadolu Agency.
The negotiation talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on the filling and operation of the $5-billion worth Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the largest in Africa, had collapsed earlier this year after Ethiopia skipped the talks, leading to a diplomatic war of words between Cairo and Addis Ababa.
Egypt and Sudan fear the 145-metre-high dam will threaten their essential water supplies once the reservoir starts being filled in July as planned by Ethiopia.
During a question-and-answer session at the parliament, Prime Minister Abiy said the Nile dam construction was progressing as planned. He asserted that roughly 50 million Ethiopians don’t have access to clean water and electricity, and completing the dam project will help in fulfilling the basic rights of Ethiopians.
“We have amicably resolved the dam’s electromechanical problems that delayed the civil construction, and other related works,” he noted.
Abiy said that the project evaluation and control had also been made dependable and standard.
“For us, GERD is a matter of development and national identity that will not hurt Egypt and Sudan,” the Ethiopian prime minister said. “No one can stop us from completing the dam.”
Abiy also stressed that negotiations between the three countries had reached the final phase. The planned election in Ethiopia has been postponed over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Sudan’s irrigation ministry said in a statement that Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia are expected to resume negotiations on Tuesday over the filling of the controversial mega Nile dam. The Irrigation and water ministers from the three Nile basin countries will meet via video conference.
The ministry added that three observers from the United States, the European Union and South Africa will also attend the talks.