Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
CAIRO, 15 June 2020: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said, Monday the latest updates regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations don't bode well in terms of achieving positive results, forcing Egypt to seek other alternatives.
The minister was briefing a symposium titled "Egyptian Diplomacy: Handling Current Challenges" on latest developments of the GERD file.
The top diplomat affirmed Egypt's commitment to the path of negotiations during the course of the previous years as well as its eagerness to reach a just solution to the crisis that meets the interests of the three concerned countries.
Shoukry described the updates of the negotiations as not promising amid Ethiopia's intransigence in a way that would likely force Egypt to opt for other options, like raising the issue with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to prevent Ethiopia from adopting unilateral measures that may undermine the Egyptian water rights.
The symposium was organized by the Egyptian Business Council for International Cooperation, under its Head Moataz Raslan, at the premises of the Foreign Ministry.
The video conference meeting was attended by leaderships of the State Council.
Shoukry reviewed the unprecedented political, economic and social challenges posed by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) alongside its impact on the global system, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez.
The outbreak of the pandemic has disrupted the global supply and production chains, compelling countries to adopt policies meant to halt the spread of the virus, the foreign minister said, pointing out to direct impact of these policies on the consumer behavior and priorities of business owners
The coronavirus crisis has sparked unprecedented polarization among world countries amid trading accusations about handling the crisis, Shoukry said.
He added that the crisis has exposed the shortcomings of several world organizations in dealing with it and easing its impacts.
The foreign minister touched on a number of issues and crises facing Egypt and its borders, topped by the situation in Libya, the spokesman said.
In this regard, Shoukry highlighted the outcomes of Cairo meeting which was called by Egypt out of its keenness on achieving political and security stability in Libya and resulted in reaching a comprehensive political initiative to end the crisis.
Shoukry said the political solution has become indispensable for reaching a comprehensive political settlement in line with the UNSC resolution number (2254) in a way that attains the unity of the Syrians, stops bloodshed and ends foreign interference.
The prolonged crisis in Yemen requires implementing a political solution along with eliminating foreign interference, the top diplomat stated.
While discussing the latest developments in the Palestinian cause, Shoukry affirmed the necessity of achieving just and comprehensive peace in the occupied territories and having an independent Palestinian state based on the borders of 1967 with East Al Quds city as its capital.
In comments to reporters, the Official Spokesperson of the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said, Saturday, that he is not optimistic about the prospects of achieving a breakthrough during the ongoing negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. This, he noted, was due to Ethiopia’s intransigence which, once again, became abundantly clear during the ongoing meetings of the ministers of water resources of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan.
While Egypt exercised considerable flexibility and welcomed a compromise text prepared by Sudan as a possible basis for negotiations, Ethiopia presented, during the ministerial meeting that was held on June 11, 2020, a deeply troubling document that is both technically unsound and legally inadequate. This document, which both Egypt and Sudan rejected, confirms that Ethiopia lacks the requisite political will to conclude a fair agreement on the GERD and reveals its intention to exploit transboundary water resources in an unrestrained and unregulated manner and without taking into consideration the rights and interests of downstream communities and states.
MENA contributed to reporting