President Sisi reiterates call for legal deal on filling, operation of GERD

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Jun 2022

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has reiterated Egypt’s firm position that a legally binding agreement must be reached on the rules for the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in order to preserve Egypt’s water security.

Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi   Liberata Mulamula
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi with Tanzanian Foreign Minister Liberata Mulamula during their meeting on Thursday 9 June, 2022. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Presidential spokesman Facebook page.

The president stressed the importance of guaranteeing the rights of current and future generations to the Nile waters, Egypt’s main source of water, according to a presidency statement on Thursday.

El-Sisi made the statement in a meeting with Tanzanian Foreign Minister Liberata Mulamula in Cairo, where they discussed the decade-old GERD dispute, according to the statement.

Cairo and Khartoum have been involved in decade-long talks with Addis Ababa over the massive mega project in an attempt to reach a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.

The latest round of African Union (AU)-sponsored talks between the three countries over the GERD in Kinshasa, DRC collapsed in April 2021, and all attempts to revive the negotiations since have failed.

El-Sisi's meeting with Mulamula was also attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Housing Assem El-Gazzar, and the director of the Africa Department of the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A message from Tanzania's president

During the meeting, Minister Mulamula delivered a letter to President El-Sisi from Tanzanian President Samia Hassan, in which she expressed Tanzania's great appreciation for its deep historical relations with Egypt, as well as its keenness to further promote cooperation between the two sides.

The Tanzanian president also expressed her country's aspiration to benefit from Egypt’s broad experience in mega development projects, the statement added.

President Samia Hassan also touched on the status and developments in cooperation efforts with Egypt to establish the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant and Dam to generate hydroelectric power in Tanzania.

The project is undertaken by a consortium of Egyptian companies, including the Arab Contractors Company and El-Sewedy Electric, under the supervision of the Egyptian government.

The dam, the biggest in Tanzania, is planned to secure a clean power supply for more than 60 million Tanzanians as well as control water flow during flooding.

The project dates back to August 2017, when Tanzania announced bids for the construction of the dam, which were later won by the Egyptian consortium.

In February 2019, the government of Tanzania handed over the construction site to the Egyptian companies and construction began in the third quarter of 2019.

The project is scheduled to be completed by 2022.

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