Fri, 01 Oct 2021 - 09:52 GMT
Fri, 01 Oct 2021 - 09:52 GMT
CAIRO – 1 October 2021: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Friday, The Republic Democratic of Congo (DRC), which chairs the African Union for this year, is currently communicating with all three countries related to the issue of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in order to resume negotiations.
In statements to MBC Masr news channel, he expected Congo to call for a new round of negotiations on GERD during the coming period.
“The current situation includes high-level communications under the auspices of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi for resuming negotiations” Shoukry said.
He added that a delegation from the Democratic Republic of the Congo visited Egypt and put forward a number of ideas”
He noted that ‘Egypt is always ready to engage in negotiations’, but only based on the outcomes of the UN security council session which includes reaching a binding legal agreement on filling and operating the Dam, within a short and pre-announced period, along with a clear framework of observers assisting the African Union through presenting solutions and proposals that can bring the three countries [ Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia] points of views closer.
Shoukry affirmed that Egypt does not set ‘pre-conditions’ for engaging in negotiations, as ‘it involves always with a ‘good-will’ in the GERD negotiations with Ethiopia.
However, after a long period of negotiations, Egypt and Sudan came to the conclusion “that these negotiations are endless”.
“We place our trust in President Tshisekedi that negotiations will be resumed in accordance with what was approved by the African Union office, as well as the outcomes of the presidential statement issued by the Security Council.” Shoukry said.
On September 16, Shoukry said in a press conference with DRC counterpart Christophe Lutundula that Congo has drawn up a timetable for the tripartite negotiation process between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia regarding the issue of the GERD.
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.
The Congolese minister also visited Sudan 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 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, 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.