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Egypt Holds Onto Talks over GERD

Egypt Holds Onto Talks over GERD

Friday, 25 June, 2021 - 09:15
A general view of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on December 26, 2019. (Getty Images)

Egypt has reiterated that it holds onto negotiations with Addis Ababa and Khartoum in the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

But it stressed to sticking to its water rights and achieving the three countries’ interests in any binding and legal agreement on the dam.

Cairo and Khartoum fear the potential negative impact of GERD on the flow of their annual share of the Nile’s 55.5 billion cubic meters of water.

They have been racing against time to reach an agreement before Ethiopia’s scheduled unilateral second filling of the dam reservoir in July.

During his visit to South Sudan’s Juba on Wednesday, Irrigation Minister Mohammed Abdel Aty said his country is implementing several projects in the Nile basin and other African countries.

The projects aim to serve citizens and achieve stability by addressing drinking water problems and protecting people from floods, he explained.

The latest round of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in Kinshasa ended in early April with no progress made.

Tension has recently increased due to Addis Ababa’s insistence to proceed in its unilateral moves without a prior agreement.

Cairo underscored the importance of holding “effective and serious” negotiations to reach a breakthrough in the stalled negotiations, in light of Addis Ababa’s “intransigence.”

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had previously highlighted Egypt's political principles to boost Arab solidarity as a strategic approach for cooperation based on “mutual respect, sincere intentions and coordination to curb any regional hazards or challenges.”

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, on Wednesday and discussed with him regional developments, including GERD and the situation in Libya and Palestine.

According to a foreign ministry statement, both ministers agreed to continue coordination and consultation on all bilateral, regional and international issues that they consider a priority.

Also, Khartoum asked the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to meet and discuss the dispute over GERD and “its impact on the safety and security of millions of people.”

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