Ethiopian leaders discuss GERD and regional issues across the continent


Ethiopian leaders recently traveled across the continent meeting leaders in order to clarify Ethiopia’s stand on the regional issues and Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD).
On May 5, President Sahle-Work Zewde held discussions with Niger President Mohamed Bazoum in Niamey.
On her trip to Niger, which is a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the president clarified the current situation on talks about GERD and current situation in Tigray regional state and border dispute with Sudan.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Demeke Mekonnen, in Pretoria met with the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.
According to MoFA the two discussed current affairs in Ethiopia, in the region and bilateral issues. Demeke emphasized Ethiopia’s firm commitment to continue the negotiations under AU framework and reach a mutually acceptable outcome to the three countries.
In his office Demeke had also held discussions on Tuesday May 4 with Comoros Foreign Minister, Dhoihir Dhoulkamal on bilateral issues and the tripartite talks over the GERD.
MoFA stated that on the occasion, the Foreign Minister of Comoros said that Comoros is keen to strengthen relationships between the two countries, particularly in culture, industry, vocational training, and the medical sector, including in efforts to fight COVID-19.
He also said he had meetings with the leaders of Egypt and Sudan to talk about the GERD negotiations as a member of the AU Bureau and because Comoros considers the interests of the three countries as its own.
Redwan Hussien, State Minister of MoFA has also briefed ambassadress of the UN Security Council and South American countries on pivotal issue of the country. Regarding the GERD issue, Redwan said that Sudan’s concerns are adequately addressed and Foreign Ministry of Egypt has also admitted in his recent address to the parliament that the dam would cause not significant harm to Egypt.
He said the viable way out to end the impasse over the GERD talks is to continue and finalize the AU led tripartite negotiation process under the chairperson of the DRC president. He expounded on the understanding reached to enhance to role of observers and experts to assist the DRC chairmanship in moving the process forward.
Ethiopia frequently expressed its desire to develop on mutual trust and on a win-win approach. Recently, it has invited the two downstream countries to nominate dam operators for data exchange before the filling of the GERD in the coming rainy seasons on the aim of confidence-building measures among the three countries on the project.