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Egypt Parliament Backs Government in GERD Dispute

Egypt Parliament Backs Government in GERD Dispute

Friday, 30 April, 2021 - 10:00
An aerial view of the Nile River, agricultural lands and homes from an airplane window on a flight between Cairo and Luxor on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (EPA)

The Egyptian Senate, which is the upper house of the bicameral parliament, has thrown its support behind the government in the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile.

Following a meeting with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Wednesday, members of the Senate’s foreign affairs committee said they support the decisions that the government would take in case Ethiopia takes a move affecting Egypt’s water security.

The dispute with Ethiopia has recently grown amid Addis Ababa’s insistence to move forward with the scheduled second filling of the dam in July/August despite calls and warnings from both Sudan and Egypt against its “unilateral” move.

Earlier this month, talks hosted in Kinshasa ended with no progress.

Senate member Dr. Abdel-Moneim Said revealed there is an international effort to resume negotiations and resolve the dispute.

He stressed that Cairo will not undermine its interests, and is seeking to resolve the issue diplomatically.

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 especially that it relies on it for more than 90 percent of its water supplies.

Head of the Republican People’s Party and Senate member Hazem Omar said the meeting with Shoukry came in line with the permanent coordination between the executive and legislative bodies to face the current challenges.

The meeting addressed the repercussions that Addis Ababa’s intransigence and unilateral steps would have on the future of development and stability of the Horn of Africa and countries in eastern Africa.

Cairo and Addis Ababa have exchanged accusations over responsibility for the failure of negotiations on GERD.

Shoukry informed the Senate that Addis Ababa has repeatedly rejected several mediations to resolve the issue and insisted to implement its plans.

Cairo and Khartoum seek a legally binding agreement over the operations and filling of the dam, which Addis Ababa says is crucial to its economic development.

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