Tue, 20 Apr 2021 - 10:56 GMT
FILE - Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry
CAIRO – 20 April 2021: Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry met Tuesday President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa handing him a message from President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi within a tour in a number of African countries.
The message conveys the status quo of negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Egyptian stance on the issue. That is in alignment with Egypt's eagerness on coordination and consultation with South Africa given its weight on the continent and membership in the African Union Commission (AUC).
Minister Shokry expressed Egypt's appreciation for the efforts that had been deployed by South Africa to broker negotiations while it was chairing the African Union (AU) in 2020.
The minister also presented the conclusions of Kinshasa meetings held early in April 2021. He stressed that Egypt proved throughout such talks its honest political will aiming for setting off a serious negotiation pathway that would lead to a legal binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam. That agreement shall preserve the interests and rights of the three states, and reinforce regional security and stability.
Shokry also discussed with the South African president bilateral relations affirming the Egyptian will to continue bolstering ties with South Africa in various fields. That is in light of the close coordination between President Sisi and President Ramaphosa on both bilateral and continental levels on many pressing matters.
In mid-July 2020, Ethiopian authorities unilaterally carried out the first phase of the filling process with 4.9 billion cubic meters; and it is expected – as reported by the BBC- that the second phase of the filling would reach 13 billion cubic meters.
The dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia dates back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building the dam; Egypt voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters].
In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam, whose capacity is 74 billion cubic meters and is planned to generate 6,000 megawatts per annum through 16 turbines.