CAIRO: Cairo has welcomed a presidential statement issued by the UN Security Council which encouraged Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to resume negotiations on the Renaissance Dam within the framework of the negotiating track led by the president of the African Union.
The council is hoping to draft a binding legal agreement based on the African Union demands for the filling and operating of the dam.
The Egyptian foreign ministry said that the presidential statement encouraged countries that previously took part in negotiating meetings held under the African Union to continue to support talks in order to settle technical and legal issues related to the dam.
Egypt said that the statement “confirms the importance” of the Renaissance Dam, and recognizes the potential negative repercussions on peace and security in the region that could arise from the dispute.
The ministry stressed that the statement represents an affirmation of demands by the African Union, which ask that Ethiopia engage seriously in order to reach a binding legal agreement.
In the statement, the UN Security Council urged Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to resume African Union-led talks to reach an agreement “within a reasonable time frame.”
However, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry objected to the statement, warning that announcing a position on an issue related to water rights and development is “outside the scope of the UNSC mandate.”
Ethiopia also attacked Tunisia’s position on the Security Council statement, saying: “Tunisia made a historical mistake by requesting a position from the Security Council.”
Tunisia’s “historic misstep in presenting the council’s statement undermines its official responsibility as an alternate member of the UN Security Council for an African seat,” Ethiopia’s foreign ministry added, saying that it “will not recognize any claims which are raised based on the statement.”