Egypt’s FM: Talks with Ethiopia over GERD did not lead to any agreement



Thu, 09 Mar 2023 - 02:04 GMT


Thu, 09 Mar 2023 - 02:04 GMT

File- A Google satellite image for the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)- Egypt Today

File- A Google satellite image for the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)- Egypt Today

CAIRO - 9 March 2023: Engagement in the US/AU-brokered negotiations with Ethiopia over the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam (GERD) did not lead to any agreement as a result of the Ethiopian policies, said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in a press conference with his Kenyan counterpart Dr. Alfred N. Mutua in Cairo on Thursday.

“The negotiations in which Egypt was involved have not achieved any agreement so far, and Ethiopia has not assumed its responsibility to reach an agreement in the presence of a real political will,” Shoukry said.

Shoukry voiced his country’s desire to reach an agreement and stressed that Ethiopia should not take unilateral actions, calling for respecting the water rights of downstream countries.

“The Egyptian state will defend the interests of its people and will take measures that preserve its water rights,” Shoukry added.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, on Thursday, met with his Kenyan counterpart, who is on an official two-day visit to Cairo.

"They discussed ways of enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries, as exploring new areas of cooperation comes on top of both sides’ priorities," the Egyptian ministry’s spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid tweeted.

A day earlier at the 159th session of the Arab League (AL) Council, Shoukry reaffirmed Egypt’s reliance on its “Arab brothers” to urge Ethiopia to refrain from its unilateral acts regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

During his speech, Shoukry called for the Arab countries to urge Ethiopia to show the required political will to accept any of the middle-ground solutions that have been reached on the negotiation table in this regard.

The dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia dates back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building the dam; Egypt voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters].

Constructions in the Grand Renaissance Dam started on April 2, 2011 at a cost of $4.8 billion. It was built by the Italian construction and engineering company Salini Impergilo. The dam is located on the Blue Nile with a planned reservoir capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and was expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.

However, it is estimated to generate only 3,000 megawatts, as the number of turbines to be installed has been reduced to 13 turbines down from 16. At the beginning of this year, the first turbine was installed but no more so far.

On January 13, Ethiopia declared it would begin removing 17,000 hectares of forests in February, which would take 60 days, to make possible conducting the third filling of the dam.




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