Middle east

Egypt continues its diplomatic efforts to find solution of the GERD Dispute

About the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Egypt has maintained its international diplomatic efforts to move on to the postponed talks, with the hope to pressure Ethiopia to reach a legally obligatory deal on regulating the dam’s filling and operation.

On Tuesday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi welcomed his Congolese counterpart Felix Tshisekedi, who is the next president of the African Union (AU) that has been sponsoring discussions between Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa since July 2020.

Indeed, they discussed the latest regional developments, particularly the GERD matter, and approved to boost coordination and joint consultation, according to presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady.

Egyptian President indicated Egypt’s position that the Nile River is a source of cooperation and development and a lifeline that links peoples of the Nile Basin countries. The presidential statement indicated that the leaders held individual discussions followed by expanded discussions between both countries’ delegations.

The statement cited what Tshisekedi said, he is expressing appreciation for the distinguished historic ties with Egypt and the sincere and firm Egyptian political backing for Congo. He also affirmed that his country’s interest to develop these ties in numerous fields, particularly trade and economic cooperation. Furthermore, the Egyptian embassy in Washington held on Monday an extended virtual session with congressional aides from the House and Senate, and during the session, Ambassador Motaz Zahran evaluated the GERD’s as negative impact on Egypt and Sudan’s water security.

Zahran affirmed that Cairo is not opposed to Ethiopia’s right to development, with the condition that its aspirations do not affect Egyptian interests and water security.

Moreover, the gathering aims to provide a precise explanation to Congress members on Egypt’s stance on the negotiations. Cairo and Khartoum affirm the need to reach a mandatory and comprehensive deal that ensures the rights and interests of the three countries, and include a mechanism for resolving disputes and operation of the dam.

Besides, they worry about the GERD’s potential negative impact on the flow of their annual share of the Nile’s 55.5 billion cubic meters of water. Until now, the GERD dispute has taken two ways of weakened negotiations. The first was mediated by the US, the World Bank and European Union observers in early 2020 and the second by the AU.

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