Thank you, Mr President. I would also like to thank the briefers for their insightful briefings.
The heightened tensions surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) are very concerning. Estonia has closely followed the developments. We have also carefully studied the letters that the concerned parties have submitted to the Council.
It is obvious that there is no easy solution to this question. Therefore, it is twice as important that all three parties involved are willing to make the necessary concessions, which would allow them to arrive at a fair and equitable solution. I believe this is achievable if all involved will negotiate in good faith.
We acknowledge the role that the African Union has played in trying to help to find a solution. However, we regret that so far no agreement has been found on the outstanding issues, despite more than a year passing since the Council last discussed this matter. We hope that with the facilitation of the African Union, the parties continue to work to come to an agreement in a timely manner. African Union, as the regional organization, should remain the main forum for this. Estonia also supports the continuation of the work of observers in this process.
It is crucial to find a peaceful solution at the earliest opportunity before the tensions escalate. We are urging all parties to refrain from taking any unilateral actions, which might escalate the situation. The best chance of finding a solution remains through negotiations, and not through escalation.
The time to come to an agreement is now. There is no more time for any further delays. Estonia fully supports finding a peaceful solution to this dispute.