US State Department opposes military action against GERD

US State Department regional spokesman Samuel Warburg said on Sunday that the United States believes diplomacy is the only solution to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) problem.

During an interview with TV host Amr Abdel-Hamid on the TeN satellite channel, Warburg stressed that the UN Security Council session showed that this issue is very important for the African continent.

He added that the international community is fully aware of the importance of the issue of GERD for the Nile Basin region.

Warburg explained that there is no alternative or military solution, and “we cannot imagine any new war on the African continent”.

He stressed that downstream countries and the African Union must resume negotiations, saying the United States is ready to provide any political or technical assistance.

Warburg said the United States calls on all parties to refrain from any statements in order to resume dialogue, and that any future dialogue must be aimed at moving the negotiations forward. The United States does not want to spend more time on negotiations, he said.

The UN Security Council held a meeting on Thursday on the issue of GERD after an appeal from the Arab League. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry welcomed the move on Saturday, expressing satisfaction with the session.

Ethiopia informed Egypt on July 5 that it had started the process of filling the second fill of the GERD reservoir. Egypt has expressed its categorical rejection of this unilateral measure, calling it a clear and dangerous violation of the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles.

Egypt and Sudan say they want a legally binding agreement on the filling and functioning of GERD, while Ethiopia is trying to evade such an agreement.

Construction of the dam, which began in 2011, is considered one of the most serious water problems in Egypt.

Egypt, which relies heavily on fresh water from the Nile, expressed fears that GERD could negatively impact the country’s water supply and insisted that measures be put in place to protect downstream countries in the event of drought during the dam filling process.

Ethiopia, on the other hand, stressed the importance of the project in supporting its economy, where more than half of the population currently lives without access to electricity.

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