Egypt Seeks EU Support to Resolve Renaissance Dam Crisis
After touring seven Arab states to press his country’s case in the dispute with Ethiopia over the Nile dam, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited Thursday Brussels and Paris, asking European Union officials to push Ethiopia on signing an agreement with Cairo on the filling and operation of the dam.
In Brussels, the Egyptian FM met with High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell.
An EU statement said Shoukry and Borrell exchanged views on regional issues and how to address challenges posed by recent developments in Libya, Syria and the Nile waters, including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Borrell recalled the European Union’s commitment to strengthen the EU-Egypt partnership based on shared values.
Shoukry delivered two messages to Borrell from President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi intended for European Council President Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
Shoukry also met with EU budget commissioner Johannes Hahn, who praised the Egyptian role in providing regional stability. “The EU supports the Egyptian efforts to achieve sustainable development and to seek compromises for regional crises,” Hahn said.
The Egyptian FM also held talks with Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi. “Good and productive discussion with Shoukry this morning in Brussels on EU-Egyptian bilateral cooperation,” the Commissioner wrote on his Twitter account.
Before his stop in Europe, Shoukry was on an Arab tour that took him to Jordan, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.
Last week, a dispute emerged between Egypt and Ethiopia over the filling and operation of the $4 billion dam, particularly after a last round of talks in Washington failed to reach a final agreement between the concerned parties.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan had expected to sign an agreement in Washington last week, but Ethiopia skipped the meeting and only Egypt has initialed the deal thus far.