June 26, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 118 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
CALLING FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION TO GERD PROJECT NEGOTIATION; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 118
(Extensions of Remarks - June 26, 2020)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E582] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] CALLING FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION TO GERD PROJECT NEGOTIATION ______ HON. JASON CROW of colorado in the house of representatives Friday, June 26, 2020 Mr. CROW. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of continued cooperation and peaceful negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan regarding the construction and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Furthermore, I urge the Trump Administration to respect our nation's role as an impartial observer to these discussions going forward. As you know, the GERD project broke ground in 2011. Next month, construction will be complete. When fully filled and operational, the dam will generate approximately 6,000 megawatts of electricity--making it the largest hydropower project in Africa. It will directly impact the flow of water, increase the supply of energy, and help ensure food security in Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan. In Ethiopia, it will help alleviate drought conditions that have impacted nearly one fifth of its population and inflicted untold damage on crops across the county. In Egypt, it will help improve water supply for the rapidly growing population. In Sudan, it will help reduce sediment and control flooding. For the past four years, negotiations have followed the 2015 Declaration of Principles, agreed upon by the three countries involved in the negotiations. These principles outlined a commitment to peaceful resolution to conflicts as they arise; mutual trust and respect; information sharing; security; respect for one another's sovereignty; and stewardship of the River Nile. In recent months, tensions have escalated between Ethiopia and Egypt, putting the project in jeopardy. We must honor our nation's role as an observer of these negotiations and avoid taking on an additional role as a facilitator or mediator. Moreover, we must not play favorites or take any other action that may risk damaging the integrity of this process or put a peaceful, mutually beneficial agreement out of reach. As negotiations continue, I urge the United States Government and all other international parties to respect the 2015 Declaration of Principles, engage only with African Union diplomats, and support a peaceful resolution for all countries involved and for the region at large.