'The interests of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia are one,' President Sisi says after tripartite summit in Addis Ababa

Ahram Online , Monday 29 Jan 2018

Egypt's FM Shoukry said that Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa have agreed to resolve all disagreements on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam technical issues within one month

President Sisi with Sudan's Bashir and Ethiopian PM Desalegn after tripartite summit in Addis Ababa (Snapshot ONTV)

Following a tripartite summit between the leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in the Ethiopian capital on Monday to discuss differences over the Grand Ethiopian Renainssance Dam, Egypt's president told reporters, "People should be assured. None of [us three] countries – Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – will be harmed."

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi added, "Egypt's interests are one with Ethiopia's and also one with Sudan's. We are speaking as one voice."

In a response to a question by reporters on whether the crisis over the dam has been resolved, El-Sisi said, "There is no crisis."

Sudan's President Omar Al-Bashir concurred with El-Sisi, saying, "There is no more crisis."

Immediately after the end of the summit, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in press statements that the leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed on resolving all disagreements on the technical issues on the Ethiopian dam within one month.

"There are no mediators in the Renaissance Dam negotiations," Shoukry added.

The meeting between El-Sisi, Al-Bashir and Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn, which came on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, aimed at breaking the deadlock in negotiations over disputes on the impact of the GERD on downstream countries.

Ethiopia and Sudan have not accepted the results of a report issued in March 2017 by a European consultancy firm on the potential impact of the dam on downstream countries, which concluded that the speed of construction could negatively affect Egypt's water share.

Ethiopia has reportedly rejected a recent proposal by Cairo to involve the World Bank in the stalled technical negotiations.

In response to questions from reporters at the Egyptian TV channel ONTV to the President about the dam issue following the meeting, El-Sisi called on the media not to convey messages that cause the public concern or that insult others. 
"We already have mechanisms in place, we have committees on the issue," he said.
El-Sisi explained that "there is a high-level committee including the ministries of foreign affairs and irrigation who are following up on the issue," asking the public to rest assured.
The Egyptian president had met on Saturday with Al-Bashir, and the two leaders agreed to form a joint ministerial committee to deal with all outstanding bilateral issues between the two countries.

El-Sisi has been in Addis Ababa since Saturday to participate in the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, which is taking place from 22 to 29 January.

On Saturday, El-Sisi chaired a meeting by the Peace and Security Council (PSC), the AU body in charge of maintaining continental peace and security, which Egypt is heading in January.

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