Egypt and Sudan ask Ethiopia to approve international quartet committee suggestion for GERD talks

Zeinab El-Gundy , Friday 12 Mar 2021

Despite its rejection, Egypt and Sudan renew the call to Ethiopia to approve the international quartet committee suggestion.

A general view of the the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia. AFP

Egypt and Sudan asked Ethiopia on Friday to approve the suggestion to have an international quartet committee to mediate in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) talks.

In a joint statement issued by the Egyptian and Sudanese governments on Friday, Egypt and Sudan asserted on the importance of reaching a legal binding agreement, concerning the filling and operating of the GERD in a way that would achieve the best interests of all three countries and limit the damages of this project on the two downstream countries.
Egypt has supported in the statement, Sudan’s suggestion of having a quartet committee made of the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), United States and European Union (EU) to mediate in the GERD talks in order to reach a legal binding agreement before Ethiopia starts the second filling of the dam.
Ethiopia has already rejected the suggestion claiming that it was undermining the role of the African Union (AU).
Nevertheless, both Egypt and Sudan said they were looking forward - on Friday - to Ethiopia’s approval on the quartet committee initiative to end the current deadlock in the talks.
The two countries asked Ethiopia to show good will and to get involved in an effective negotiation process in order, to reach an agreement, adding that both of them had political will and serious desire to do so.
The statement added that Egypt and Sudan had the same vision concerning GERD, welcoming at the same time the role of Congo as the chair of the AU in leading the negotiation.
The two countries also welcome the announcement of the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, who welcomed the initiative of the quartet committee.
Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok came to Cairo in a 48-hour visit on Thursday.
Hamdok's visit to Cairo comes in less than a week of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s visit, which is the first to Khartoum since the ouster of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir in 2019.
Aside from the GERD issue, Hamdok held talks with Egyptian officials concerning the bilateral relations as well as, the joint projects between Egypt and Sudan.
In the joint statement on Friday, the two governments announced their moving forward with the implementation of the two electrical interconnection projects as well as, raising the capacity to 240 megawatts over the next summer among other agreements including training Sudanese cadres and transferring the Egyptian experience in the economic reforms.
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