Canterbury Archbishop urges Ethiopia to ensure fair GERD use, calls for Israeli-Palestinian peace process

Ahram Online , Saturday 9 Oct 2021

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby urged Ethiopia to ensure a fair use of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and underscored the need to establish an Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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

Welby made the remarks during his visit to Cairo on Friday, ahead of launching the new Anglican Province of Alexandria at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo’s Zamalek district.

Egypt and Sudan have called for maximizing international role to endorse the African Union-sponsored negotiations on their dispute with Ethiopia over GERD. Egypt has called the international role “indispensable”.

The three countries have showed desire to continue the talks under the auspices of DR Congo, as current head of the AU this year.

The two downstream countries call for a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam, a demand that has been endorsed by a UN Security Council statement last month but is still resisted by Ethiopia.

During his visit to the Egyptian capital, Welby affirmed in a press conference the importance of negotiations to resolve the disputes over the Nile, a statement by the Anglican Diocese of Egypt read on Friday.

Palestinian cause

Welby addressed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, saying Palestinians have the right for a fair life without the fear of leaving their lands.

He underlined the need to achieve a peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis, calling it essential for achieving justice and security.

He expressed hope that Israelis also enjoy peace within internationally defined borders.

Anglican church, new province

During the presser, Welby lauded the role of the Anglican church in Egypt in working on establishing schools and hospitals as well as providing support to refugees,

Welby also highlighted his church’s strong relations with Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church.

He affirmed that Christians in Egypt and Jordan enjoy good living conditions, unlike some other parts of the Middle East, where the number of Christians decreased possibly due to conflicts and discrimination.

Welby launched after the presser a new province for the Anglican Church with Alexandria being its main seat.

The new province’s jurisdiction extends over Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia in North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

The Anglian Communion first announced the launch of the Anglican Province of Alexandria last year as its 41st province worldwide.

The new province was formed due to the independence of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa from Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East in May 2020.

The Anglican Church in Egypt was established as per a decision by Mohammed Ali Pasha, the Ottoman leader who ruled Egypt 200 years ago.

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