Egypt's prisedent Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during the National Defence meeting on Sunday (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian presidency spokesman official Facebook page)
Egypt's National Defence Council has said that the country will continue work to reach a comprehensive agreement concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and that it seeks to stabilise the situation in Libya by not crossing the declared lines, according to a presidential statement.
The statement was released after Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi chaired Sunday a meeting of the country's National Defence Council (NDC) to discuss pressing political, security and military situations on all strategic fronts, including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue and the crisis in Libya.
El-Sisi reviewed the council on trilateral negotiations on GERD between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia and efforts aiming to reach a comprehensive agreement that fulfils the three countries' aspirations and demands and preserve riparian rights in a fair and balanced manner, El-Sisi's spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.
The council emphasised that Egypt will proceed to reaching a comprehensive deal on the outstanding points of the GERD issue, especially the rules for filing and operating the dam, in a way that secures the three countries' water and development interests and maintains regional security and stability.
A mini-African summit will be held Tuesday to continue discussing the dispute around GERD after the recent round of negotiations mediated by the African Union (AU) saw no resolution of differences on major issues of contention over the hydropower project Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile, one of two tributaries of the Nile River.
The statement added that the NDC’s meeting also touched on the developments in Libya as Egypt seeks to stabilise the current field situation and not to cross declared lines — referring to the Libyan cities of Sirte and Al-Jafra — with the aim of bringing about peace between all Libyan parties.
"Egypt will spare no efforts to support the sister Libya and help its people to bring their country to safety and overcome the current critical crisis, grounded in the fact that Libya is one of the highest priorities for Egypt's foreign policy, taking into account that Libyan security is inseparable from Egyptian and Arab national security," the statement stressed.
The NDC affirmed commitment to a political solution to put an end to the Libyan crisis, in a manner that maintains its sovereignty and national and regional unity, eliminates terrorism, and prevents the chaos of criminal groups and extremist armed militias.
Sunday’s meeting asserted the importance of limiting illegal foreign interference that contributes to aggravating the security situation and threatens neighboring countries and international peace and security, Rady noted.
It also assured the importance of guaranteeing a fair and transparent distribution of the wealth of Libyan national resources, and preventing any extremist groups from having power over these resources.
Last month, President El-Sisi threatened to send troops into Libya if the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and allied Turkish forces tried to seize Sirte, which is located around 900 kilometres from the Egyptian-Libyan border.
El-Sisi in June called Sirte a "red line" for Egypt and said any intervention by Egypt would mainly be aimed at protecting Egypt’s western border, achieving a ceasefire, and restoring stability and peace in Libya.
No single government has had full control over the oil-rich country since 2011 when then-leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed.
The oil-rich country has since been ruled by two governments, one in the east represented by the House of Representatives, which is the country’s only elected body, and one in the west, where the capital Tripoli is located, under the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.