Egypt’s FM discusses GERD, regional issues with European Council president

Ahram Online , Monday 12 Jul 2021

Shoukry explained in detail Egypt’s stance regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meets with President of the European Council Charles Michel in Brussels. Egyptian foreign ministry

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry delivered on Monday a message from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to President of the European Council Charles Michel in a bilateral meeting in Brussels.

Shoukry delivered El-Sisi’s greetings to Michel and discussed fostering bilateral relations between Egypt and the European Union (EU).

Shoukry also explained in detail Egypt’s stance regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry read. This comes only few days after the UN Security Council held a meeting to discuss the GERD issue.

The UNSC meeting was requested by Egypt and Sudan, both of whom seek a binding agreement with Ethiopia over the filling and operation of the mega dam, a step Ethiopia has resisted.

The dispute over the dam escalated after Ethiopia announced early in July that it was commencing with the second stage of filling the dam’s reservoir, despite the two downstream countries’ rejection of the step without a binding agreement.

During the UNSC session, Egypt and Sudan expressed their concerns over the filling of the reservoir without an agreement, blaming the failure of negotiations on Ethiopia’s intransigence.

Shoukry and Michel also discussed a number of regional issues of mutual concern, at the top of which is the situation in Libya in light of the outcome of the Berlin 2 Conference.

They also reviewed the latest developments in the Palestinian issue and the overall situation in the Middle East.

The top Egyptian diplomat also discussed pushing forward cooperation with the EU into broader horizons in the various political, strategic and economic fields, the statement read.

Shoukry also expressed an aspiration to boost European investments in Egypt.

Shoukry has been in Brussels since Sunday morning, where he met with senior officials at the European Commission.

Earlier on Monday, Shoukry discussed cooperation in the fields of immigration and asylum with European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson in Brussels.

Shoukry and Johansson discussed supporting the pathways of regular immigration, enhancing the protection of immigrants and refugees, and developing regional and international cooperation in these fields.

Shoukry also met over breakfast with a group of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels.

On Sunday, Shoukry met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, where he urged the Israeli government against any measures that may raise tensions with the Palestinians.

The top Egyptian diplomat affirmed the need to move urgently towards breaking the current stalemate between the Palestinians and Israel, so that a fair and comprehensive peace process between the two sides can be launched.

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