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GERD Talks in Kinshasa Collapse over Observers Role

April 7 , 2021



Talks between foreign and water ministers of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have collapsed this week, after Ethopian negotiators rejected the idea of elevating observers role.

Ethiopia's delegation was led by Demeke Mekonnen, deputy prime and foreign minister, and comprised Seleshi Bekele (PhD), minister of Water, Irrigation & Energy.

Concluding a three-day summit in Kinshasa, the capital of DR Congo, the parties into the negotiations over disputes with the GERD failed to agree to give the US and the EU similar role as the Africa Union (AU). The AU serves as a negotiator for the tripartite locked in a bitter dispute, a framework Ethiopia wants to see unchanged, while Sudan and Egypt demanded the US and EU to involve in the process beyond mere status of observers.

The two countries followed an approach that seeks to undermine the AU-led process and to take the matter out of the African platform, says a press statement Ethiopia's Ministery of Foreign Affairs issued after the summit. But Ethiopia has agreed for exchanges of information and proposals with the observers, including South Africa, when jointly asked by the three countries, according to the statement.


The blame for the collapse of talks in Kinshasa lies with Egypt and Sudan, according to Ethiopia's Ambassador to the UAE, Suleiman Dedefo.

"The AU-led process on the GERD which was convened in Kinshasa was not successful, because of lack of political will of Egypt and Sudan," the Ambassador tweeted on April 6.

Egypt did not see the summit in the same light as Ethiopia framed it.

Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, called the statement by Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry released in the aftermath of Kinshasa as "a complete lie and has nothing to do with the truth," according to the Sky News Arabic.



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