Egypt Warns Ethiopia against Holding Nile ‘Hostage’

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. (AFP file photo)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. (AFP file photo)
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Egypt Warns Ethiopia against Holding Nile ‘Hostage’

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. (AFP file photo)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. (AFP file photo)

Egypt warned Ethiopia against prolonging the negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), saying it should not continue to build the dam without reaching an agreement that addresses its fears regarding its share of the Nile River.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry asserted that his country does not negotiate for the sake of negotiating, stressing that Egypt will not accept the consolidation of the status quo on the ground.

Egypt will not be a hostage to the efforts to impose hegemony on the Nile River, he declared before parliament.

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have been holding negotiations to resolve the dispute over the GERD for about ten years, without reaching an agreement despite the involvement of the United States, World Bank and African Union.

Egypt and Sudan are demanding a “legally binding” agreement that regulates the filling and operating of the dam, which is built on the main tributary of the Nile, and its reservoir capacity is set to reach about 74 billion cubic meters.

Shoukry explained that Cairo seeks a just and balanced GERD agreement that ensures the preservation of Egypt's interests and water rights.

He pointed out that his country participated in several rounds sponsored by the United States and World Bank, which led to an integrated agreement on the dam, which Egypt initialed.

Ethiopia refused to sign the agreement and proceeded unilaterally to fill the reservoir as a first stage.

Egypt referred the file to the United Nations Security Council, which held a session in June in a historical precedent, to discuss the political and technical implications of GERD.

This is the first time the Security Council discusses an issue related to the use and exploitation of water resources and transboundary rivers.

Shoukry said that this move was followed by a series of negotiations under the auspices of the African Union.

Egypt engaged in the negotiations as a tool to reach a fair agreement that would preserve its water rights, stressed the minister.

Egyptian diplomacy also culminated in two decisions during the Arab League ministerial meeting in 2020 and which expressed Arab solidarity with Cairo’s fight for its water rights.

Shoukry said that state agencies are following up on the developments related to the dam on a daily basis, adding that Egypt is keen on maintaining its relations with its African neighbors, especially Ethiopia.

Unfortunately, Ethiopia is so far unwilling to negotiate a real solution, said Shoukry, stressing that Cairo will continue to work to reach a solution that preserves its water rights.



Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
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Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

The Middle East was reeling Sunday from deadly violence with Israel bombing Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen in quick succession in response to attacks from Iran-backed militant groups.
Despite Washington's top diplomat asserting a deal is near the "goal line" to end more than nine months of devastating war between Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, the Israeli military said it intercepted a missile fired from Yemen, as it pressed on with its offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory, Agence France Presse reported.
Dozens have been killed since Saturday across the Gaza Strip, the civil defense agency said, including in strikes on homes in the central Nuseirat and Bureij areas and displaced people near southern Khan Yunis.
Residents said a major operation was underway in the district of Rafah in the south, reporting heavy artillery and clashes.
The deadly strikes in Gaza came hours after Hezbollah and its ally Hamas said they fired at Israeli positions from south Lebanon, while Yemen's Houthi group vowed to respond to Israeli warplanes hitting a key port.
The fire left raging by the strikes on Hodeida port "is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.
Detailing the first strikes claimed by Israel in Yemen, Gallant warned of further operations if the Houthis "dare to attack us" after a Houthi drone strike killed one in Tel Aviv on Friday.
In Hodeida three people were killed and 87 wounded, health officials said in a statement carried by Houthi media.
Netanyahu travels to Washington
The trio of militant groups has vowed to keep up attacks on Israel until a truce ends the violence in Gaza, which lies in ruins, with most residents forced to flee their homes.
The Gaza war was triggered by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom are still in Gaza, including 42 the Israeli military says are dead.
Israel's military retaliation to wipe out Hamas has killed at least 38,919 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The war has also unleashed hunger and health crises in Gaza, with Israel and the United Nations trading blame for vital aid supplies failing to reach those in need.
After the detection of poliovirus in Gaza sewage, though no individual cases, the World Health Organization said there were "monumental" constraints to mounting a timely response.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said Friday the agency believes many more diseases are "spreading out of control" inside Gaza.
The premier is due to address US lawmakers Wednesday in Washington, where he will be under pressure to reach a ceasefire with Hamas.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday a truce was within reach.
"I believe we're... driving toward the goal line in getting an agreement that would produce a ceasefire, get the hostages home, and put us on a better track to trying to build lasting peace and stability," he said.