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Doha: Ethiopia has opposed an Arab League resolution, seeking United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) intervention to resolve a dispute between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt over a huge dam Addis Ababa is building over river Nile's main tributary, Blue Nile.
The resolution was passed at a meeting.on Tuesday in the Qatari capital Doha where the 22 members of the group assembled following an effort by Khartoum and Cairo to reach an agreement on the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), reported Al Jazeera.
Egypt is opposing the construction of the dam as 90 per cent of its freshwater supplies come from river Nile and sees the project as an existential threat while Khartoum is worried about its own dams and water station on the river. On the other hand, Addis Ababa is hoping that the new dam will boost economic development and power generation in the country.
“The Arab League of States should know that utilization of the Nile waters is also an existential matter for Ethiopia,” the East African nation’s foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera. “It is about lifting millions of its people out of abject poverty and meeting their energy, water and food security needs.
“Ethiopia is exercising its legitimate right to use its water resources in full respect of international law and the principle of causing no significant harm,” it added.
After a US brokered accord couldn't be achieved last year, the African Union (AU) is mediating between the disputing countries. But both Khartoum and Cairo have called for the involvement of US, EU and the UN in the negotiation process which has been rejected by Addis Ababa.
The negotiation is focusing on how the dam is operated and filled in accordance with the international law and norms governing cross-border rivers.
The dam would be Africa's largest hydroelectric power generator and the seventh largest in the world. Its construction is 80 per cent and is likely to reach full generation capacity by 2023.