Cairo Warns Addis Ababa Against Filling GERD Before Reaching Agreement

Cairo Warns Addis Ababa Against Filling GERD Before Reaching Agreement
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Cairo Warns Addis Ababa Against Filling GERD Before Reaching Agreement

Cairo Warns Addis Ababa Against Filling GERD Before Reaching Agreement

Egypt has warned Ethiopia against filling the Renaissance Dam it is building on the Blue Nile before reaching a binding and legal agreement on the filling and operation process.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Sunday that his country is ready to launch a new serious negotiation process that takes into account the interests of Cairo, Khartoum, and Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia has been building the dam on the main tributary of the Nile since 2011, and its Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy announced the completion of about 78 percent of the construction so far.

Last week, it announced the dam is expected to hold 13.5 billion cubic meters of water in the upcoming rainy season.

Authorities started filling the reservoir on July 21, 2020. However, the completion of the first filling phase prior to reaching an agreement with Egypt and Sudan irked both countries.

Cairo has been seeking through intense diplomatic efforts to receive international support for its position against Addis Ababa’s.

On Sunday, Shoukry received a phone call from Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Pekka Haavisto, during which he affirmed that his country “had hoped for the success of the African Union (AU) efforts in resolving the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) issue.”

The AU-sponsored talks between Cairo, Addis Ababa, and Khartoum over the operation and filling of the mega-dam have faltered and were stalled in January, despite the intervention of international actors such as the United States and the European Union with observers.

Shoukry expressed his country’s aspirations to resume talks under the AU's new chairmanship of Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi.

“The Egyptian state has expressed its political determination to reach a fair and balanced agreement that achieves Ethiopia’s development goals while preserving Egypt’s rights and protecting the two downstream countries from the dam’s potential dangers,” a foreign ministry statement read.

Addis Ababa refuses to legalize any agreement reached, which binds it to specific measures to alleviate the drought.



Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
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Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)

Hamas' armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said on Friday that two Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago.

The group, in a video posted on its Telegram channel, did not release the names of those said to have been killed or provide any evidence.

The Israeli government "does not want your hostages to return, except in coffins," the al-Qassam Brigades statement said.

Israel rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a hostage-freeing operation in central Gaza's al-Nuseirat on June 8. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said more than 250 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

The war in Gaza erupted when Hamas fighters stormed southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel has responded with a military assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza health ministry. Israel says its campaign is intended to eliminate Hamas as a threat and free the remaining hostages.