FILE-Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
FILE-Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry

No response from Ethiopia, Sudan to Egypt’s invitation for dam negotiations

Thu, Apr. 19, 2018
CAIRO – 19 April 2018: “Unfortunately, Ethiopia and Sudan have not responded to the invitation sent by Egypt to resume the negotiations over the Renaissance Dam and we lost another chance to reach a solution for the Dam’s technical problem,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry.

Egypt has invited ministers of foreign affairs and irrigation, as well as heads of the intelligence agencies of Ethiopia and Sudan for another round of talks, which are scheduled to be held on April 20 in Cairo, about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

During an interview with Extra News, Shoukry stressed that Egypt has exerted efforts during the Khartoum based talks and negotiated with goodwill to launch initiatives that would meet the interests of the three countries.

He confirmed that Egypt has dealt with transparency and positivity toward the negotiations and reaching a consensus among the three countries, and “any attempts to prove the contrary are derivations from the truth regarding the main reason behind hindering talks.”

Shoukry denied allegations that Egypt “hindered” an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) from being concluded during the last round of negotiations held in Khartoum.

He added that Egypt accepted the inception report for the agreement signed among Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt to be honestly implemented as Egypt would not be able to bear the harms of filling the reservoir of the Renaissance Dam.

Shoukry expressed his regret over the halting of the talks, saying that “despite the efforts exerted by Egypt our partners have still not expressed their concerns, and that Egypt will be waiting for them to raise this issue.”

He stressed that Egypt will not accept having the will of one imposed on others and the outstanding situation, and that Egypt will continue defending the interests of its people and their shares of the Nile.

In the same context, Shoukry stressed that Egypt is concerned with African issues and vigorously pursues the challenges facing security, development, education and women empowerment in African countries.

He remarked that trade exchange with Africa is available; however, it faces many obstacles, explaining that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has referred in several events that the main obstacle hindering establishing cooperation with African countries is the infrastructure.

Shoukry headed a delegation to Khartoum on April 11 to attend the ninth meeting in Khartoum and to resume the talks that aimed to ease Egypt’s concerns over the controversial dam.

The meetings were resumed after a four-month hiatus due to a disagreement over technical issues related to the dam’s impact on the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.

Later, a round of discussions over the controversial dam between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan in Khartoum were announced a failure. The Egyptian foreign minister said no agreement was reached after 18 hours of talks; he added that officials touched on all the outstanding issues that led to such controversy.
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