Egypt's FM calls for GERD deal as soon as possible in meeting with UN Horn of Africa envoy

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Sep 2022

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry reiterated Egypt’s firm stance on the need to reach a comprehensive agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as soon as possible in a meeting on Sunday with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Hanna Tetteh.

Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry receives UN Secretary-General s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Hanna Tetteh, 11 September 2022. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Shoukry warned that the continuation of the status quo on the GERD represents an element of instability that threatens the interests of the peoples of the region for current and future generations, a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry read.

Egypt and Sudan’s tensions with Ethiopia have heightened as the latter proceeded with its plans to implement the third phase of filling the GERD reservoir without the consent of the downstream countries.

Egypt and Sudan have reiterated their rejection of the unilateral Ethiopian acts regarding the $4.2 billion GERD, including filling its 74-billion-cubic-metre reservoir and operating the dam turbines without their consent.

The two downstream countries have repeatedly affirmed their support for Ethiopia’s right to development, but called on Addis Ababa to sign a binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam that would secure their water rights and their peoples’ interests.

African Union-sponsored talks to find a solution to the GERD dispute between the three countries have been stalled since April last year, with Egypt and Sudan blaming the failure of talks on the upstream country’s “intransigence.”

Amid the stalled talks, Egypt and Sudan have called for the engagement of a quartet made up of the UN, the AU, the United States, and the European Union to mediate the GERD talks, a step that Ethiopia has rejected.

Shoukry and the UN’s Tetteh discussed various important issues linked to peace and security in the region, the statement said.

The discussions reflected the keenness of the UN official to better understand Egypt's vision and assessment of the situation in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, the security of the Red Sea, as well as the GERD and means of expressing African interests during the upcoming climate summit, the statement said.

Egypt, which will host the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November in Sharm El-Sheikh, has repeatedly vowed to speak for African aspirations regarding the climate agenda during the conference.

Shoukry also briefed Tetteh on his vision toward resolving the political crises in the region, affirming that Egypt has extensive experience in backing peace and stability in Africa and good contacts that qualify it to always support UN purposes and goals in this regard.

The FM also affirmed Egypt’s constant keenness to support the stability of the Horn of Africa as an integral part of Egypt’s own national security. This has been evidenced by Egypt’s great contribution to peacekeeping operations in Africa, he added.

Shoukry congratulated the UN envoy on assuming her post, highlighting the special importance that Egypt attaches to the Horn of Africa region as a geostrategic extension of Egyptian national security.

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