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Egypt Hinges on UN Action to Help Solve GERD Dispute

Egypt Hinges on UN Action to Help Solve GERD Dispute

Wednesday, 30 June, 2021 - 06:15
This satellite image taken Sunday, July 12, 2020, shows the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile river in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia. (Maxar Technologies via AP)

Egypt has said it hinges on the UN Security Council’s strong action in its long-standing feud with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).


Addis Ababa is building the dam on a tributary of the Nile, amid fears in Cairo and Khartoum that it would harm their water share in the river.


Two weeks ago, Egypt and Sudan sent two separate letters to the UN Security Council pressing its members to convene an urgent meeting and discuss the dispute over the dam. They expressed concern that the issue could have serious ramifications that threaten peace and security throughout the region.


The letters called upon the international community to engage in the dispute to help reach a peaceful settlement and it updated the Council on the developments pertaining to the negotiation process between the three countries.


On Tuesday, Egyptian Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Aty expected that the UN Security Council would issue a decisive resolution concerning the GERD dispute. He explained that Cairo presented a comprehensive document to protect its water rights.


Egypt and Sudan seek to push the Security Council to convene swiftly before Ethiopia takes unilateral actions and starts the second phase of filling its giant hydropower dam next month.


Signaling the possibility of holding such session, Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad Othman Jerandi met in Rome with Norway's Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide on the sidelines of a joint meeting of the G20 Foreign and Development Ministers.


They discussed the Security Council agenda for July, including the possibility of raising the issue of GERD and coordinating positions with the remaining member states.


Aty reaffirmed that his country has resorted to all diplomatic channels to solve the dam crisis, adding that “Egypt wants peace, and it is keen to protect the rights of all Nile basin countries.”


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