Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) in a press conference with DRC counterpart Christophe Lutundula (L) on September 16, 2021 in Cairo- press conference .
CAIRO - 16 September 2021: The Republic Democratic of Congo (DRC), which chairs the African Union for this year, has drawn up a timetable for the tripartite negotiation process between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia regarding the issue of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in a press conference with DRC counterpart Christophe Lutundula.
Shoukry said that the existence of all guarantees between the parties is necessary as such issues should not be dealt with only in good faith only, but guarantees to reach a clear agreement with no ambiguity in implementation are a must.
Cairo-visiting Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic Democratic of Congo (DRC) Mr. Christophe Lutundula said that his talks with the Egyptian side are positive and would help find a necessary solution to the GERD issue.
Lutundula added that his visit to Cairo came upon directives from DRC President Félix Tshisekedi to resume the tripartite negotiations between the three countries.
The Congolese Foreign Minister affirmed the importance of solving problems and having a guarantee that all parties will abide by what was agreed upon.
The Congolese minister visited Sudan on Wednesday to discuss the resumption of the trilateral negotiations, said the Sudanese news agency (SUNA). He handed Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi a document prepared by a joint team of experts from the DRC presidency and the African Union Commission. The document includes a summary of the points agreed upon between the three countries and the disputed aspects.
Foreign Minister Lutundula’s visit came after Egypt has welcomed the UN Security Council statement issued, Wednesday on the GERD, encouraging all three countries to resume negotiations with the aim of reaching a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam within a reasonable time frame.
Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged observers of previous GERD negotiations under the African Union's sponsorship, and any other observers to be involved in future dam talks, to continue supporting the negotiation to facilitate all technical, or any other issues regarding the agreement.
“The Security Council is not the competent authority in technical and administrative disputes over water sources and rivers.” The UNSC statement said
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are at loggerheads over the $4-billion dam; Cairo voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters] after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011.
In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam.