British amb. in Cairo: Our role in GERD issue is to encourage states, AU to reach suitable solution



Mon, 04 Apr 2022 - 10:00 GMT


Mon, 04 Apr 2022 - 10:00 GMT

FILE - GERD - Reuters

FILE - GERD - Reuters

CAIRO – 4 April 2022: British Ambassador to Cairo Gareth Bayley said the UK’s current role is to encourage each of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to reach a suitable solution regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) under the sponsorship of the African Union.

“We participate from behind the scenes and encourage Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to reach an appropriate solution and if there is an official request for us to add our efforts and encourage countries to reach a solution, surely we will think of it,” Bayley said in an interview with ‘Bel Waraka Wel Qalam’ TV program on TEN TV channel.

The ambassador said his country has backed the Tunisian request to discuss the GERD issue in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adding that the UK fully understands the importance of the Nile River to Egypt.

“We see a number of partners trying to encourage and mediate to reach an appropriate solution and we see a number of partners willing to intervene in the matter,” Bayley said, adding that the UK is not willing to be an official party in the issue to “not complicate” the matter.

Egypt and Sudan have repeatedly rejected Ethiopia’s unilateral acts regarding GERD, including the filling and operation of the dam without reaching a binding deal that ensures the interests of the three countries.

Last month, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the unilateral actions regarding the GERD are part of an Ethiopian policy of unilateral exploitation of international rivers.

Speaking at the 157th ordinary session of the Council of the League of Arab States at the level of foreign ministers, Shoukry affirmed Egypt’s rejection of Ethiopia’s commencement of operating GERD last month unilaterally.

“This is considered a perpetuation on the part of the Ethiopian side in violating its obligations under the 2015 Declaration of Principles (DoP), after Ethiopia moved on with filling the dam unilaterally over the past two years,” he stated.

Ethiopia’s policy of unilateral exploitation of international rivers had caused harms to Ethiopia’s neighboring countries, Shoukry said, including Somalia.

Egypt looks forward to having the support of Arab countries and all international partners to urge Ethiopia to deliver on its pledges and have the spirit of cooperation, Shoukry said.

He affirmed the need that Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia agree without a delay on a fair and legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam in line with the UNSC presidential statement issued last September.

Egypt and Sudan last month also stressed the importance of moving forward to serious negotiations regarding the controversial dam under the auspices of the presidency of the African Union to lead a binding legal agreement that achieves the interests of the three countries.

Shoukry and Sudanese Foreign Minister-designate Ali Al-Sadiq Ali called upon Ethiopia to actively engage in these negotiations as soon as possible, according to a statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.



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