Austrian FM voices support to Egypt’s water rights, says Nile should not be controlled by one state



Mon, 04 Jul 2022 - 10:31 GMT


Mon, 04 Jul 2022 - 10:31 GMT

CAIRO – 4 July 2022: Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has affirmed support to Egypt’s right in its water share, saying the River Nile should not be controlled by one state.

Schallenberg’s remarks echo his statements last year, when he said in TV remarks that “no one should play with fire” in the GERD dispute.

Schallenberg made the remarks in a press conference on Sunday during his visit to Cairo and meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

During the presser, Shoukry said the GERD issue has been highlighted during his discussions with Schallenberg. He affirmed the need for Austria, as a member of the European Union, to follow up on the Egyptian stance regard the GERD file.

Shoukry said he discussed with Schallenberg bilateral relations and the promising opportunities in the two countries in the economic sector, affirming that the relations between Egypt and Austria are built on mutual trust and friendship.

Schallenberg will sign an important contract to supply steel rails for Egypt's projects and establish a factory to produce this component domestically, Shoukry said.

The Egyptian minister said he discussed regional and international issues with Schallenberg.

Russia-Ukraine crisis

The Austrian minister affirmed the need to support Egypt in the face of the geopolitical impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, noting that the European Union has allocated 100 million euros to support Egypt in light of the rise in food prices because of the crisis.

For his part, Shoukry said the Russia-Ukraine crisis has an impact on all countries worldwide, noting that Egypt is the world’s largest importer of wheat but has a strategic stock of this basic commodity that is sufficient for citizens.

Shoukry highlighted the importance of cooperation with the United Nations to ensure a safe exit of grain and to deal seriously with food security.

He noted that Egypt communicates with all parties and its goal is to restore stability and stop military actions in general so that the crisis ends completely.

Schallenberg underscored the importance of resolving the global food crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war, praising the big role played by the Arab countries to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

Regional issues

Shoukry said he discussed with Schallenberg the situation in the occupied Palestinian lands, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Africa.

Schallenberg said Austria endorses Egypt’s vision for stability in Libya, noting that the recent Libyan protests took place due to incompatibility and the Libyan people’s refusal to the absence of consensus.

Shoukry, for his part, affirmed Egypt’s rejection of any military solutions in Libya, noting that dialogue is the only way to hold presidential and legislative elections at the earliest opportunity in line with the Libyan interests and sovereignty.

The Egyptian minister said the recent disturbance in Libya affirms dissatisfaction of a large segment of Libyans with the delay of elections.

He said Egypt had supported the Libyan political dialogue forum. However, the timeframe for the roadmap for the forum has come to an end.

Shoukry said Egypt continues to push for a Libyan consensus that leads to elections, noting that the Libyan House of Representatives, the only recognized legislative body in the country, has assigned a new government to lead the country during the past period.

Shoukry called for respecting the legitimacy of the Libyan HoR and the Presidential Council and working to push for elections, stressing the importance that all foreign forces leave Libya.

COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh

During the presser, Schallenberg said Austria looks forward for Egypt’s hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh.

He noted that climate change is an existential issue for the whole world and that Austria seeks to cooperate with Egypt in the preparations for the conference.

Egypt is preparing to host COP27 in November in coordination with international partners with the aim of implementing the commitments and pledges made by the various parties involved in climate action in line with the Paris Agreement.



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