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Egypt’s FM in Washington for US-Sponsored GERD Negotiations

Egypt’s FM in Washington for US-Sponsored GERD Negotiations

Monday, 4 November, 2019 - 12:00
A general view of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, as it undergoes construction (File photo: AFP)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry headed to the US on Sunday to attend the negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry stated that Shoukry is expected to conduct consultations with several US officials on enhancing bilateral relations between Cairo and Washington, and on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Last Thursday, Ethiopia announced its participation in Wednesday’s meeting, which Egypt hopes will lead to a “legal agreement” on the rules for filling and operating the dam.

Cairo fears the potential negative impact of GERD on the flow of its annual share of the Nile's 55.5 billion cubic meters of water, while Addis Ababa says the dam is not aimed at harming Egypt's interests.

The Washington meeting comes nearly two weeks after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met in Sochi, Russia, during which they announced a technical committee would resume its work “in a more open and positive manner, in order to reach a final vision on the rules for filling and operating the dam.”

The Egyptian FM expressed his country's aspiration to sign a tripartite legal agreement with the upstream countries, through new negotiations sponsored by the US in the presence of World Bank officials.

Last week, Shoukry told the Arab Parliament that Egypt welcomes the US mediation in the tripartite talks.

“This invitation comes in accordance with Article No. 10 of the Declaration of Principles, which stipulates that if the three countries could not find a solution to their differences, they have to ask for mediation,” Shoukry said. 

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