FILE: Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
CAIRO – 22 June 2020: Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry negated that Egypt is escaping negotiations of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam by referring the issue to the United Nations Security Council.
In a Monday statement, Shoukry said that Egypt has engaged in negotiations with Ethiopia for nearly a decade, which dismisses any possibility that the country is avoiding talks. He added, “Egypt is always ready to engage in any negotiations to reach a fair agreement those serves all three countries' interests."
Shoukry further challenged Ethiopia to immediately resume negotiations and declare compliance with the international obligations that stipulate not to fill the dam unilaterally.
During his interview with the Associated Press on Sunday, Shoukry accused Ethiopian officials of stoking antagonism between the countries.
“Egypt wants the United Nations Security Council to undertake its responsibilities and prevent Ethiopia from starting to fill its massive, newly built hydroelectric dam on the Nile River in July amid a breakdown in negotiations,” Sameh told AP.
"The responsibility of the Security Council is to address a pertinent threat to international peace and security, and certainly the unilateral actions by Ethiopia in this regard would constitute such a threat," the minister clarified.
Ethiopia announced Friday that it would begin filling the dam’s reservoir in July even after the latest round of talks with Egypt and Sudan failed to reach a deal governing how the dam will be filled and operated.
Shoukry warned that filling the reservoir without an accord would violate the 2015 declaration of principles governing their talks — and rule out a return to negotiations.
“We are not seeking any coercive action by the Security Council,” he said. In a three-page letter to the council, Egypt asked the council to call Ethiopia back into talks for a “fair and balanced solution” and to urge it to refrain from unilateral acts, warning that filling the dam without a deal “constitutes a clear and present danger to Egypt” with repercussions that “threaten international peace and security.”
On June 19, Egypt called the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to intervene in the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue, asserting the importance of continuing the negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in order to reach a fair and just solution for all three countries.
Egypt stressed the need to prevent any unilateral measures that might affect the chances of reaching a balanced agreement.
Egypt's request to the Security Council was based on Article 35 of the United Nations Charter, which allows member states to alert the council to any update that might threaten the international peace and security.
CAIRO - 19 June 2020: Egypt called Friday the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), to intervene in the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue, asserting the importance on continuing the negations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in order to reach a fair and just solution for all three countries.