GCC rejects 'acts harming Egyptian, Sudanese Nile rights', urges binding GERD deal

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 14 Dec 2021

The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) voiced its rejection of any 'act or measure that harms the Egyptian and Sudanese rights in the River Nile', urging a fair and binding solution to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) file.

GCC 42
A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace shows (L to R) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Nayef al-Hajraf, Kuwait s Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Qatar s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Oman s Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmud Al-Said, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Bahrain s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, and the UAE s Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum posing for a family photo during the GCC summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 14, 2021.AFP

The remarks came in a final communique on Tuesday after the 42nd meeting of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit held in Riyadh.

Egypt and Sudan have been negotiating with Ethiopia for a decade now to reach a comprehensive and legally binding agreement over GERD, which would secure their water interests and rights and end their related concerns over the impact of the dam on the quantity of water reaching the two countries.

Ethiopia, however, has resisted efforts to reach a binding GERD solution and enforced two phases of dam filling over the past two years unilaterally and against the will of the two downstream countries.

"The Supreme Council [of the GCC] affirmed that the water security of the Republic of the Sudan and the Arab Republic of Egypt is an integral part of the Arab national security," the communique read.

The GCC Supreme Council also reiterated suppot to all endeavours that contribute to resolving the GERD file while taking into account the interests of all parties.

The council called for the resumption of negotiations between the three parties to reach a fair and binding solution to the GERD issue in accordance with international laws and standards.

On Sunday, foreign ministers of Egypt and GCC countries held the first edition of the political consultation mechanism in Riyadh with the participation of the GCC's Secretary General Nayef bin Falah Al-Hajraf.

During the meeting, the GCC expressed its support for the Egyptian national security, including its water rights, stressing that Egypt plays a "pivotal" role in supporting security and stability in the region, Egypt’s foreign ministry stated on Sunday.

The outcome of the joint ministerial meeting held in Riyadh between the GCC and Egypt will contribute to fostering their relations in all fields, the Supreme Council affirmed, according to the communique.

The council reiterated support to Egypt's security and stability, hailing the country's role in enhancing the Arab national security as well as security and peace in the region.

The council also hailed Egypt's efforts to counter terrorism and enhance development and prosperity for the Egyptian people.

The GCC summit covered a number of topics in the region, including the Palestinian cause, tensions with Iran, the war in Yemen, the crisis in Syria, and stability in Lebanon, besides counterterrorism efforts, according to the communique.

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