Arab States Back Calls for UNSC Intervention over Ethiopia Dam Dispute

Ethiopia

DOHA (Somaliguardian) – The foreign ministers of Arab countries have expressed support for calls on a UN Security Council intervention in an escalating dispute over a mega dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile River.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit announced the decision after Arab League foreign ministers discussed tensions over the controversial dam in a meeting held in Qatar’s capital, Doha called by downstream Nile countries Egypt and Sudan.

He described the water security of Egypt and Sudan as an integral part of Arab national security as Egypt which relies on the Nile for as much as 90 percent of its freshwater, sees the Ethiopian project as a potentially existential threat.

“There is a united Arab position,” Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told reporters in Doha on Tuesday. He said officials had agreed on “steps to be taken gradually” to back Egyptian and Sudanese governments calls for United Nations Security Council to intervene in the tiff.

“We spoke about the negotiations regarding the Ethiopian dam in order to reach a just settlement for all the concerned parties,” he added.

“We also discussed not taking any unilateral decisions that would cause harm to any member state.”

Sudan and Egypt agreed to cooperate on ways to push Ethiopia to negotiate seriously on an agreement on filling and operating the dam after African Union-mediated talks reached dead end.

During the meeting in Doha, Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said “African mediation on the Renaissance Dam began about a year ago but unfortunately has not yet yielded the desired results” and accused Ethiopia of forcing its will on other countries in the region.

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