Sunday, March 29, 2015
Full text of 'Declaration of Principles' signed by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online
In an important step towards resolving a long-running dispute over the Grand Renaissance Dam, the leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have signed in Khartoum a declaration of principles as follows
MENA and Ahram Online, Monday 23 Mar 2015
File photo: A general view shows construction activity on the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region March 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Ahram Online publishes a translated version of the "Declaration of Principles" signed by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in a step to put an end to a four-year dispute over Nile water sharing arrangements among Nile Basin countries. Ten principles are outlined in the document signed by the three countries.
Valuing the increasing need of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of the Sudan for their over-border water sources, and realising the importance of the Nile River as a source of life and a vital source for the development of the people of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, the three countries have committed themselves to the following principles concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam:
1. Principle of cooperation:
- Cooperation based on mutual understanding, common interest, good intentions, benefits for all, and the principles of international law.
- Cooperation in understanding the water needs of upstream and downstream countries across all their lands.
2. Principle of development, regional integration and sustainability:
The purpose of the Renaissance Dam is to generate power, contribute to economic development, promote cooperation beyond borders, and regional integration through generating clean sustainable energy that can be relied on.
3. Principle of not causing significant damage:
- The three countries will take all the necessary procedures to avoid causing significant damage while using the Blue Nile (the Nile's main river).
- In spite of that, in case significant damage is caused to one of these countries, the country causing the damage [...], in the absence of an agreement over that [damaging] action, [is to take] all the necessary procedures to alleviate this damage, and discuss compensation whenever convenient.
4. Principle of fair and appropriate use:
- The three countries will use their common water sources in their provinces in a fair and appropriate manner.
- To ensure fair and appropriate use, the three countries will take into consideration all guiding elements mentioned below:
a. The geographic, the geographic aquatic, the aquatic, the climatical, environmental elements, and the rest of all natural elements.
b. Social and economic needs for the concerned Nile Basin countries.
c. The residents who depend on water sources in each of the Nile Basin countries.
d. The effects of using or the uses of water sources in one of the Nile Basin countries on another Nile Basin country.
e. The current and possible uses of water sources.
f. Elements of preserving, protecting, [and] developing [water sources] and the economics of water sources, and the cost of the procedures taken in this regard.
g. The extent of the availability of alternatives with a comparable value for a planned or a specific use.
h. The extent of contribution from each of the Nile Basin countries in the Nile River system.
i. The extent of the percentage of the Nile Basin's space within the territories of each Nile Basin country.
5. The principle of the dam's storage reservoir first filling, and dam operation policies:
- To apply the recommendations of the international technical experts committee and the results of the final report of the Tripartite National Technical Committee during different stages of the dam project.
- The three countries should cooperate to use the final findings in the studies recommended by the Tripartite National Technical Committee and international technical experts in order to reach:
a. An agreement on the guidelines for different scenarios of the first filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam reservoir in parallel with the construction of the dam.
b. An agreement on the guidelines and annual operation policies of the Renaissance Dam, which the owners can adjust from time to time.
c. To inform downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, on any urgent circumstances that would call for a change in the operations of the dam, in order to ensure coordination with downstream countries' water reservoirs.
- Accordingly the three countries are to establish a proper mechanism through their ministries of water and irrigation.
- The timeframe for such points mentioned above is 15 months from the start of preparing two studies about the dam by the international technical committee.
6. The principle of building trust:
- Downstream countries will be given priority to purchase energy generated by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
7. The principle of exchange of information and data:
- Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will provide the information and data required to conduct the studies of the national experts committees from the three countries in the proper time.
8. The principle of dam security:
- The three countries appreciate all efforts made by Ethiopia up until now to implement the recommendations of the international experts committee regarding the safety of the dam.
- Ethiopia will continue in good will to implement all recommendations related to the dam's security in the reports of the international technical experts.
9. The principle of the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the State:
The three countries cooperate on the basis of equal sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the state, mutual benefit and good will, in order to reach the better use and protection of the River Nile.
10. The principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes:
The three countries commit to settle any dispute resulting from the interpretation or application of the declaration of principles through talks or negotiations based on the good will principle. If the parties involved do not succeed in solving the dispute through talks or negotiations, they can ask for mediation or refer the matter to their heads of states or prime ministers.
Posted by Guihon at 4:48 AM
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
By ELIAS MESERET, Associated Press
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el- Sissi on Wednesday urged Ethiopia's leaders to put aside "centuries of mistrust" and cooperate on sharing Nile River waters as Ethiopia presses ahead with the construction of a massive new dam.
El-Sissi, in Ethiopia on a three-day official visit, said in an address to Ethiopia's parliament that Egypt hopes to continue to have access to the Nile's waters without being threatened by other countries.
In his speech, which received applause from the Ethiopian legislators, el-Sissi said that no one "should ever feel secure about his future without the other, or to build his welfare at the expense of his brother."
He continued: "Your Egyptian brothers also have the right, not only to development, but also the right to life itself and to live in safe haven on the banks of the River Nile, the river upon which they created an incessant civilization for thousands of years."
The leaders of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on Monday signed an initial agreement outlining principles by which they will cooperate to use the water fairly. Both el-Sissi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemarian Desalegn told a news conference in Addis Ababa on Tuesday that they have agreed to yearly talks aimed at resolving any questions over access to the Nile.
Egypt previously voiced fears that Ethiopia's $4.2 billion hydro-electric project would diminish its share of the Nile, which provides almost all of the desert nation's water needs.
Until recently, Ethiopia abided by a colonial-era agreement that gave Egypt and Sudan rights to the Nile water, with Egypt taking 55.5 billion cubic meters and Sudan 18.5 billion cubic meters of the total of 84 billion cubic meters, with 10 billion lost to evaporation.
But in 2013, Ethiopia's parliament unanimously ratified a new accord which replaced previous deals that gave Egypt veto powers over Nile projects.
They said at the time that work on the Ethiopian dam, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Sudan's eastern border, will continue during consultations with Cairo, and that experts had already agreed the dam will not significantly affect water flow to Egypt and Sudan.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted by Guihon at 2:13 AM
Egyptian President El-Sisi delivered his speech to Ethiopian parliament - YouTube: ""
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi directed a message to the Ethiopian people to keep their homeland safe and to prevent any attempts of division.
Al-Sisi held a meeting Wednesday with aPublic Diplomacy delegation headed by Vice President of the Federal Council Mohammed Rashid. Al-Sisi said that while such a situation should not take place again, the length of time an Egyptian president had not visited Ethiopia reflects the sensitivity of the water issue. This subject requires careful attention and shared political will, Al-Sisi added.
Rashid expressed gratitude for Al-Sisi’s visit to Ethiopia and delivering a speech before the Ethiopian parliament. He said that the signing of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) inaugurated a new era of relations between Egypt and Ethiopia based on cooperation and understanding.
The delegation pointed out that this cooperation will be a “model for relationships of understanding between African countries”.
Delegation members also said the two countries need to move forward in deepening their cooperation for fair usage of the resources of the Nile River.
They highlighted the central role of the media, which can be made use of for more positivity and enhancing mutual trust. The media can also be used to explain and communicate facts to the Egyptian and Ethiopian peoples to serve the sincere efforts that are being made at the official level, the delegation said.
The talks also witnessed praise from the Ethiopian side for the results of the recent Economic Summit in Egypt. They showed appreciation for his visit occurring shortly after the summit’s end on 15 March, “which demonstrates the importance [Al-Sisi] gives to the relations between Egypt and Ethiopia”.
Al-Sisi warned of the consequences of the spread of terrorism and extremist thinking, especially the exploitation of differences in religion, alluding to the importance of the role of religious scholars in facing extremist ideology.
The delegation which met with Al-Sisi included civil representatives as well as parliamentarians, religious leaders, writers, artists, professors and members of research centres. The meeting was also attended by the Egyptian ambassador in Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian Ambassador to Cairo.
In another meeting, Al-Sisi discussed terrorism concerns with Ethiopian Orthodox Church Patriarch Mathias, stressing the need for the spirit of love and tolerance between the Egyptian and Ethiopian peoples.
The meeting came “under President Al-Sisi’s efforts to enhance cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia at all levels”, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram said.
Pope Mathias expressed his delight with his visit to Egypt two months ago, during which he met with Al-Sisi, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb, and Pope Tawadros II. He praised what he felt was the genuine desire of the Egyptian people to open a new page in relations between Egypt and Ethiopia.
During a Tuesday interview aired on Ethiopian television, Al-Sisi conveyed greetings from the Egyptian people to Ethiopians. He stressed that through dialogue and cooperation, both countries can take into account the interests of each other without inflicting harm.
Al-Sisi also congratulated the Ethiopian people for their “responsible…and open minded Prime Minister”.
After years of diplomatic dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over the GERD project, Al-Sisi signed a “good intentions” agreement Monday in Khartoum.
The agreement sets the principles of cooperation between the two downstream countries Egypt and Sudan, and upstream Ethiopia.
Ethiopia began constructing the GERD in 2011. Although Egypt had previously refused the dam’s storage capacity of 74bn cubic metres, the 10 principle agreement did not disclose terms concerning this issue. The agreement stressed it would “not affect the water share of any downstream country”.
The conflict reached its peak in 2013 following Morsi’s threats, calming down later, accumulating in a series of meetings between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan’s ministers of water and irrigation. They reached consensus and filed a report to Al-Sisi in March 2015, following which the president was set to visit Sudan and sign the agreement.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Sisi arrives in Ethiopia to address parliament
Egyptian President Fattah al-Sisi is welcomed by Ethiopian rime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn upon arriving in Addis Ababa (Reuters)
By Staff writer | Al Arabiya News
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrived in Ethiopia on Monday for a two-day visit to the capital Addis Ababa, the state-owned MENA news agency reported.
He was received by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and will conduct bilateral talks with Ethiopian officials on Egyptian-Ethiopian relations.
Sisi is also set to address the Ethiopian parliament to ask for recognition of Egypt’s right to a proportion of the Nile River waters.
Leaders from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles on Monday relating to Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam on a tributary of the River Nile.’
Egypt, which relies almost exclusively on the River Nile for farming, industry and drinking water, has sought assurances that the dam will not significantly cut the river's flow to its rapidly growing population.
Earlier this week, Egypt declared it was “highly sensitive” toward any project to store the Nile’s water in upstream countries as it might reduce the country’s water supply, according to Egyptian irrigation minister Hossam Moghazi.
During his meeting with a Sudanese media delegation, Moghazi described Egypt’s current share of Nile water as already not enough to cover the country's needs.
With Egypt’s population expected to reach 150 million in 2050, the country will likely need an additional 21 billion cubic meters of water per year to meet its projected demands, Egypt's National Planning Institute has said.
Posted by Guihon at 2:38 AM
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
Construction of Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam Ongoing, water minister says Nile deal will be binding on Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan
Egypt's minister of irrigation has said a tripartite agreement on sharing the Nile River's waters and operating Ethiopia's contested Grand Renaissance Dam will be binding on the three signatory states, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, once signed.
In comments carried by state news agency MENA Wednesday, Minister Hossam Moghazy said the deal will hold Ethiopia to amending the dam's specifications if consultancy studies on the hydroelectric project prove it harmful to downstream countries.
Moghazy said the agreement sets forth "a system of monitoring and regulating the operation" of the dam project.
He added that further details of the deal — due be signed on 23 March in Sudan's capital, Khartoum — will be announced after review by legal, political and technical experts, and approval by the heads of states of the three countries.
Egypt has repeatedly voiced anxiety over the dam, which when finished will have a 74 billion cubic metre reservoir on the Nile’s largest tributary, fearing its water supply could be negatively affected.
Addis Ababa has repeatedly affirmed the 6,000 megawatt dam, which will be Africa's biggest hydroelectric station, will not harm downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.
Sudan, bordering Egypt and Ethiopia and which also relies on the Nile for much of its water, said it backs the project.
Moghazy said concurrence between the three states "on a political path" is the real guarantee on reservations each party has.
Sudanese Minister of Iirrigation Moataz Moussa said Wednesday, as quoted by Sudan's state news agency, the agreement would be the gateway to "cooperation and sustainable development" projects between the three countries.
The deal was first announced at the end of tripartite talks in Khartoum earlier in March. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said at the time the deal outlines cooperation between the three countries on the use of the eastern Nile Basin and the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti hailed this week the upcoming deal as "historic" while his Ethiopian counterpart, Tedros Adhanom, earlier said it would open a "new chapter" in relations between the three states.
The agreement, which aims to resolve the dispute over the mega-project, will be sent to the heads of the three states to give their seal of approval once reviewed.
The consultancy firm that will carry out new water and environmental studies on the dam, in fulfillment of an agreement made between the three countries last year, has yet to be selected after a delay from an initial selection date of 9 March.
Moghazy said Wednesday that one of two shortlisted firms will be chosen by end of March.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Egypt's Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has asked a government commission to review a proposed Nile agreement with Ethiopia and Sudan.
World Bulletin / News Desk
Al-Sisi held a meeting Tuesday with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi.
"The meeting discussed the outcome of meetings of a Nile panel on a proposed declaration of principles between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the Renaissance Dam," presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said in a statement.
According to Youssef, al-Sisi has asked a government commission "to review the draft agreement and study all of its aspects."
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are expected to sign the agreement on March 23 in Khartoum.
No information is yet available on the specific terms of the agreement.
Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam has been at the center of a diplomatic row between Cairo and Addis Ababa for several months.
While Ethiopia views the multibillion-dollar dam as a prerequisite for economic development, Egypt fears the project will lead to a marked reduction in Egypt's supply of Nile water.
Posted by Guihon at 2:02 AM