Wed, 24 Mar 2021 - 01:19 GMT
Wed, 24 Mar 2021 - 01:19 GMT
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (R) meets with his Burundi counterpart, Évariste Ndayishimiye, in Cairo (Presidency)
CAIRO – 24 March 2021: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi stressed Egypt’s adherence to its water rights and the need to reach a legal agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, as he met on Wednesday with his Burundi counterpart, Évariste Ndayishimiye.
Ndayishimiye arrived in Cairo Tuesday night in an official 3-day visit to Egypt in which he is scheduled to meet with several high-profile political officials.
Sisi affirmed that the water issue is of utmost importance to the Egyptian people as it is part of the Egyptian national security, the Egyptian Presidency said in a statement.
He called for reaching a legal agreement that includes clear rules for the process of filling and operation of the dam.
Rounds of negotiations among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have reached a deadlock several times.
Egypt and Sudan insist that a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam should be reached before Ethiopia implements the second phase of dam filling.
Ethiopia, on the other hand, reiterated that it would complete filling the dam in July whether an agreement is reached or not.
While Ethiopia affirms it would not significantly harm the Egyptian and Sudanese water interests, Sudan warned that that the second filling without a deal can endanger the lives of millions of Sudanese people living on the Nile River banks.
Egypt has frequently condemned the Ethiopian plans to implement the second filling unilaterally.
During their Wednesday negotiations, Sisi and Ndayishimiye agreed on the need to intensify coordination during the coming period on the sensitive and vital GERD issue, the Presidency said.
The presidents also witnessed the signing of a number of MoUs for cooperation between the two countries.
The signed MoUs are in the fields of integrated management of the water resources in Burundi, the mutual visa exemption for those holding official passports, media, education, tourism and culture, the Presidency said.
During the meeting, Ndayishimiye hailed Egypt’s pivotal regional role in preserving peace and security.
The Burundi president hailed the Egyptian stance aiming to achieve stability in The Great Lakes, East Africa and Nile Basin. He praised the Egyptian significant role in resolving outstanding issues in this regard during the past period.
Ndayishimiye lauded Egypt’s efforts to support the unity and sovereignty of Burundi in all international and regional forums.
The two presidents discussed regional issues of mutual concern.
Sisi voiced Egypt’s support to the developmental needs of Burundi, especially in the fields of infrastructure, electricity, health, mining and agriculture.
This support should be implemented through maximizing investments of the Egyptian specialized companies in Burundi, transferring expertise, and building capabilities through the courses and grants Egypt introduces to help building Burundi’s cadres.
Ndayishimiye hailed the historic and special relations with Egypt, affirming is country’s keenness to develop these bilateral ties in various fields, especially in trade and economy.