File Photo: Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Reuters)
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Saturday Egypt hopes that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) behaves in a way that enhances Egyptian and Sudanese efforts to reach a legally binding deal over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Shoukry said in remarks to Kelma Akhira TV program on ON E that Egypt “will have exhausted all peaceful means” if Ethiopia does not abide by the UNSC reaction on the GERD issue.
Egypt and Sudan have recently sent two separate letters to the UNSC urging the international body to intervene by holding an emergency session.
They urged the UNSC to dissuade Ethiopia from proceeding with filling the dam without reaching a legal deal with downstream countries.
The letters were sent after rounds of African Union-sponsored talks to resolve the dispute reached a deadlock, with Egypt and Sudan blaming the negotiations’ collapse on Ethiopian intransigence.
Shoukry affirmed that the UNSC would be the last option available within the diplomatic framework.
“In case we do not reach an agreement after all these efforts, we will have exhausted all the peaceful means and the extent of intransigence and absence of political will from the Ethiopian side as well as the extent of flexibility by Egypt and Sudan would be revealed to the international community,” Shoukry said.
On the possible date of a UNSC session on the issue, Shoukry said the council would have empty days during the second week of July.
Ethiopia also sent a letter to the UNSC, accusing Egypt and Sudan of squandering the efforts made by DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi, who chairs the African Union, and unduly prolonging the process.
Commenting on the letter, Shoukry said the accusations in the Ethiopian letter are all “claims” and “attempts to evade responsibility and blame others to cover the reality of the Ethiopian side.”
The top Egyptian diplomat also spoke about the restoration of relations with Doha following the Al-Ula agreement for Arab reconciliation that ended the three year rift between Qatar and the Gulf countries.
He said Egypt and Qatar are currently keen that relations return to normal
“Most of the issues that were pending and the impurities that had occurred in the relations during the boycott years, were finished, according to the decisions of the Al-Ula statement,” Shoukry said.
On resolving the strained relations with Turkey, Shoukry said the negotiations between the two countries are still in the exploratory phase.