Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu Andargachew on late Saturday summoned U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Mike Raynor to seek clarifications on U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial comment on Ethiopia’s mega dam.
Andargachew summoned the U.S. envoy “to seek clarifications on the remarks U.S. President made regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during his telephone conversation with the Prime Ministers of Sudan and the State of Israel,” a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs read.
The foreign minister “underscored the statement on the GERD and the negotiation process as misleading and wrong as the GERD doesn’t stop the flow of the Nile waters.”
Trump on Friday said that Egypt will “end up blowing up the dam” Ethiopia is building along the Blue Nile River. “The incitement of war between Ethiopia and Egypt from a sitting U.S. president neither reflects the longstanding partnership and strategic alliance between Ethiopia and the United States nor is acceptable in International Law governing interstate relations,” he said. Andargachew further informed the U.S. ambassador that “Ethiopia has never and will not in the future succumb to threats to its sovereignty and will be committed to continue the trilateral negotiations under the framework of the African Union.”
The 6,500-MW hydroelectric dam is under construction on the Blue Nile River, a major tributary to the world’s longest Nile River that flows all the way to the two lower riparian countries Sudan and Egypt. The diplomatic relations among Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been over the years largely intertwined with the Blue Nile River that originates from Ethiopia and shared among the three countries.
Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country, has been frequently expressing its concern that Ethiopia’s mega dam might affect its share of the river water, while Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has repeatedly vowed that the dam will not harm Egypt or Sudan, saying that the dam project will “ensure an equitable and reasonable” utilization of the river waters among the three concerned countries. Amid the continued, yet less fruitful, trilateral discussions among representatives of the three countries on the filling of the dam, the three countries have been in recent weeks engaged in through African Union-led discussions towards reaching an agreement.