GERD development on US-African summit agenda: Sources



Mon, 12 Dec 2022 - 12:10 GMT


Mon, 12 Dec 2022 - 12:10 GMT

CAIRO – 12 December 2022: Ambassador Tibor P. Nagy, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs said that ‘the great importance of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) file between Egypt and Ethiopia imposes itself strongly on the US-African summit’s agenda, expected to be held in Washington, Tuesday 13 December.

In statements to Al Masry al Youm newspaper, Monday, Nagy pointed out that GERD is one of the most important issues that threaten security and peace in the Horn of Africa and all of Africa.

Nagy added in his statements that during his tenure as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the Trump administration, he personally witnessed the complexity of this file, as President Trump's administration tried to mediate, but without much response from the Ethiopians.

Nagy noted that holding a meeting between the Egyptian and Ethiopian political leaders during the summit ‘would be wonderful to calm the atmosphere between Cairo and Addis Ababa’.

He reiterated that a final agreement between the two sides would be decided by technical negotiations, not political negotiations, because if the politicians set a general framework for negotiation, The technicians and experts are ultimately the decision makers in such matters.

In other statements to former US ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Patricia Haslach, she retreated that the US-African is a good opportunity for the Egyptian and Ethiopian leaders to meet and discuss the GERD developments.

The US administration seems to has the intention to raise the administration issue during the summit, according to an unnamed source reported by Al Masry Al Youm.

Last November, on the sidelines of COP27, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al Sisi meet with his American counterpart Biden in Sharm El Sheikh.

In a white house statement, it was stated that President Biden expressed the United States’ solidarity with Egypt in the face of the global economic and food security challenges caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine, as well as his support for Egypt’s water rights.

President Biden also congratulated President El-Sisi on hosting COP 27, and the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to accelerating global efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

President Biden and President El-Sisi also emphasized their mutual commitment to the multifaceted U.S.-Egypt strategic partnership.

The two leaders consulted on regional security challenges, opportunities to de-escalate conflicts, and the decades-long U.S.-Egypt defense partnership.

Last July, The U.S. Embassy in Cairo announced that during the meetings held by Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer with senior Egyptian officials, Chargé d’Affaires Nicole Shampaine delivered an invitation from the White House to President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi to participate in the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit scheduled for December 13-15, 2022.

Hammer met with senior Egyptian government officials on July 25 to advance a diplomatic resolution on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that supports the water needs, economy, and livelihood of all Egyptians, Sudanese, and Ethiopians.

“I came to Cairo on my first official trip to the region to hear from our Egyptian partners on the critical issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and to better understand Egypt’s water needs,” Special Envoy Hammer said.

“We are actively engaged in supporting a diplomatic way forward under the African Union’s auspices that arrives at an agreement that provides for the long-term needs of every citizen along the Nile.”    Hammer added.

US President Joe Biden is set to play host to dozens of African leaders in Washington this week as the White House looks to narrow a gaping trust gap with Africa — one that has grown wider over years of frustration about America’s commitment to the continent, the Associated Press reported.

In the lead-up to the three-day US-Africa Leaders’ Summit that begins Tuesday, Biden administration officials played down their increasing concern about the clout of China and Russia in Africa, which is home to more than 1.3 billion people. Instead, administration officials tried to put the focus on their efforts to improve cooperation with African leaders.

“This summit is an opportunity to deepen the many partnerships we have on the African continent,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said when asked about the shadow that China and Russia cast on the meetings. “We will focus on our efforts to strengthen these partnerships across a wide range of sectors spanning from businesses to health to peace and security, but our focus will be on Africa next week.”

To that end, White House officials said that “major deliverables and initiatives” — diplomatic speak for big announcements — will be peppered throughout the meetings. The White House previewed one major summit announcement on Friday, saying that Biden would use the gathering to declare his support for adding the African Union as a permanent member of the Group of 20 nations.

The summit will be the biggest international gathering in Washington since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.




Leave a Comment

Be Social