Egypt has recently received support from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States in its dispute with Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said his GCC counterparts underlined the importance of preserving Egypt’s water interests, and said they understand that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue is considered significant for Cairo.
This came during the meeting of the political consultation mechanism between Egypt and the GCC countries in Riyadh on Sunday.
Egypt and 10 other downstream countries share the Nile basin, yet more than 85 percent of its share comes from the Blue Nile tributary in Ethiopia.
Around 80 percent of the construction works have been completed so far, and Addis Ababa completed the second phase of filling the dam in August, which is a cause of concern to Egypt and Sudan that fear the dam’s impact on their water shares.
Cairo and Khartoum demand that the three countries reach a legally binding agreement to fill and operate the dam.
For nearly a decade, the African Union-sponsored talks between Cairo, Addis Ababa and Khartoum over the operation and filling of the mega-dam have faltered.
In mid-September, the UN Security Council called on the three countries to resume negotiations under the auspices of the AU, stressing the need to reach a “binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD” within a reasonable timetable.
The foreign ministers announced launching a consultation and coordination mechanism on regional and international issues, aimed at supporting and enhancing security and stability in the region and the world.
Following the meeting, Shoukry issued press statements affirming the GCC support and solidarity with Egypt in defending its national interests and reaching a binding legal agreement on GERD.
Egypt and the GCC states agreed to formulate a common vision that supports all issues and challenges facing the Arab region, and bolsters solidarity and joint action among all Arab countries.