PM Says Ethiopia Firm in Addressing Downstream Countries Concern

Addis Ababa : Ethiopia remains firm in its commitment to addressing the concerns of downstream countries and reaching a mutually beneficial outcome in the context of the AU-led ongoing negotiation process on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in his speech to the General Debate of the 75th Session of UN General Assembly today.

“I want to abundantly make it clear that we have no intention to harm these [Egypt and Sudan] countries,” the premier underscored.

Abiy noted that what Ethiopia is trying to do is to meet the electricity demands through one of the cleanest sources of energy.

The government cannot afford to continue keeping more than 65 million of the people in darkness, he explicated, adding that it has “indeed been guided by the internationally accepted principle of equitable utilization and not causing significant harm in building the dam.”

According to him, Ethiopia’s unwavering commitment to this is clearly captured in the Declaration of Principles signed by Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia in 2015.

He further explained that Ethiopia’s peace is closely interlinked with the peace and security of countries in the sub-region. That is why “we are encouraged by the formation of the revitalized government of national unity in South Sudan.”

Abiy expressed his hope that South Sudanese political stakeholders will continue to work together in a cooperative spirit to address the outstanding issues and improve the plight of their people.

“We in the region, together with the rest of the international community, will continue to lend our support to accompany South Sudan on the path of sustainable peace,” the premier said.

The transitional government in Sudan also needs all supports it can get from the international community in easing the socio-economic difficulties facing the country and fulfilling the hopes and aspiration of its people, the premier noted.

Regarding Somalia, he pointed out that Ethiopia is very much concerned by the continued attacks perpetuated by Al-Shabab in Somalia. The PM stressed the need to continue supporting Somalia in its security endeavor.

Abiy finally expressed his government’s commitment to the realization of the ongoing reform in Ethiopia.

“Ethiopia remains committed to the path of the reforms we began two and a half years ago, in spite of the stiff resistance that comes with trying to shift the status quo in favor of social justice. We will pursue Ethiopia’s inevitable track for democratization.”

 

Source: Ethiopia News agency

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