Egyptian Foreign Ministry Sameh Shoukry (R) meets in Cairo with Moussa Faki, chairperson of the African Union Commission (photo courtesy of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry)
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Sunday evening that Egypt is always ready to engage in serious and productive talks to reach a binding legal agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as soon as possible.
In a meeting in Cairo with Moussa Faki, chairperson of the African Union Commission, Shoukry affirmed the need for a binding agreement that takes into account the interests of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan and secures Egypt’s rights and water interests, foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said.
Egypt’s readiness should be met with Ethiopian commitment, Shoukry added.
Multiple rounds of negotiations between the three countries to reach a binding deal on the filling and operation of the dam ended in deadlock.
Last year, Ethiopia unilaterally completed the first filling of the GERD and plans to execute the second filling next July "under all circumstances."
In a speech to the Egyptian House of Representatives last week, Shoukry complained that Ethiopia is acting unilaterally and intransigently in the GERD dispute.
During their Sunday meeting, Shoukry and Faki discussed updates to conflicts in some African countries, Hafez said.
They affirmed the need to secure political and financial support to implement the principle of “African solutions to African problems” and to apply the African Union's “Silencing the Guns” agenda in Africa.
Egypt believes reconstruction and redevelopment are crucial in the post-conflict stage in Africa, Shoukry stressed.
Shoukry and Faki discussed the Sahel and Somalia developments and highlighted the need for achieving stability in the Horn of Africa.
Faki expressed his appreciation for Egypt for sending medical aid to African states to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
Faki met on Sunday with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. During the meeting, El-Sisi renewed his rejection of any measure that could harm Egypt’s water rights in the River Nile.
El-Sisi said an agreement should fundamentally address Egyptian concerns, especially those related to the rules of filling and operating the dam, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said.