AU brokered summit stressed necessity on reaching binding deal regarding GERD filling, operation: Egypt’s FM

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Wed, 22 Jul 2020 - 11:09 GMT

CAIRO 22 July 2020:The mini-summit that was held Tuesday night stressed the need of reaching a binding legal agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, GERD filling and operation processes, which includes a legal mechanism serve as a reference to be used in case of any future disputes.

Egypt’s Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Hafez said in statements, Wednesday that the summit also acknowledged that the Renaissance Dam is meant to generate electricity without consuming water, adding that irrelevant issues should not be included in the talks.

The meeting gave priority to crystallizing a binding deal about the filling and operation of the dam, as another comprehensive agreement about joint cooperation and partnerships among Blue Nile states should be reached later on, Hafez added.

On Tuesday, President Abdel Fatah al Sisi said that Egypt has ‘sincere desire’ to make progress regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations and its ‘points of contention’. The statements came following participating in a mini-summit held via video conference as part of the African Union-sponsored negotiations.

Presidency spokesperson Bassam Rady added in a statement that Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed on prioritizing reaching legal agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam filling and operating and to be followed with another comprehensive agreement between the three countries.

Sisi added that achieving progress regarding the ‘contentious issues’ requires ‘political will’ which enhances the opportunities and exerted efforts along with supporting building-trust and achieving common interest between the three countries.

Sudanese Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas said following the summit that Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia agreed on continuing negotiations regarding Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, GERD to overcome ‘points of contention’.

According to Sky news Arabia, Abbas added that the three countries participated in the mini-summit that was held via video conference earlier Tuesday as part of the African Union-sponsored negotiations.

On Friday, Sudanese Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas announced receiving an invitation from South Africa to participate in a mini-summit on GERD on Tuesday, July 21, according to Sky News Arabia.

 

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Friday a phone call from his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, which chairs the African Union (AU) this year.

“President [Sisi] reaffirmed, during the phone call, Egypt’s  stance which based on the principle that Nile water represents an existential issue for the Egyptians, and then reaching a comprehensive legal agreement between all parties on the rules for filling and operating the dam is imperative,” said Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi in a statement on Friday.

 

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