UNITED NATIONS, July 8 (Xinhua) — A Chinese envoy on Thursday called for the resumption of negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile.
The three countries are all at an important stage of development and the Nile waters are of great significance to their survival and development. China supports the three countries in reaching an agreement on a transboundary water cooperation program through dialogue and consultation so that all the riparian countries can benefit from the river, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.
“China believes that through joint efforts, the completion of GERD can become a tripartite development project to enhance mutual trust and win-win cooperation,” he told the Security Council in a meeting on the disputes over GERD.
China attaches great importance to the issue of GERD and appreciates the fact that in 2015 the three countries signed a declaration of principles and later held multiple rounds of negotiations under the auspices of the African Union (AU). The AU has made great efforts to facilitate tripartite negotiations. China appreciates the active role played by President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa as current and former AU chairpersons, said Zhang.
The utilization of transboundary water resources involves the distribution of national interests upstream and downstream, which is very complex and sensitive. China fully understands the legitimate concerns of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan regarding GERD. On this issue, China remains consistent in its position that the parties should resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation and achieve mutually beneficial and win-win results, he said.
“African countries have a fine tradition of resolving regional problems through dialogue and consultation. Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are all important countries in the region and good friends of China. China sincerely hopes that the three countries, in the spirit of friendly cooperation, will resume dialogue and consultation as soon as possible, reach an agreement at an early date on a solution acceptable and beneficial to all three,” he said.
China hopes the AU will continue to play its due role. The international community, including the Security Council, should support the three countries in resolving their differences through dialogue and consultation, and to that end, create a favorable external environment to jointly maintain peace, stability, and development in the African region, said Zhang.
China stands ready to continue to play a constructive role along with all the parties, he said.