Sisi asserts importance of 'legally binding' deal in GERD dispute

Ahram Online , Tuesday 21 Feb 2023

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi asserted on Tuesday the importance of finding a solution to the long-running dispute caused by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during a joint press conference with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who is on an official visit to the Egyptian capital.

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Screenshot of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi speaking during a press conference with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Cairo on Tuesday 21 February

 

El-Sisi underscored the importance of encouraging Ethiopia to sign a legally binding deal on the rules for filling and operating the dam.

Egypt and Sudan have been negotiating with Ethiopia for almost a decade now to reach a legally binding deal on the GERD, which Addis Ababa started building on the Blue Nile in 2010.

Both downstream nations have blamed the failure of the talks on Ethiopia's “intransigence” and refusal to sign any legally binding deal, seeking instead non-binding "guidelines."

The last round of negotiations between the three countries collapsed in April 2021 in Kinshasa, DRC, while all attempts to revive negotiations since then have failed.

Ethiopia unilaterally completed three phases of filling the GERD's reservoir and announced in February last year that the first turbine of the dam had begun generating power.

Egypt, which relies mainly on the Nile for its water needs, fears that the unilateral and quick filling and operation of the GERD will have a negative impact on the country's water supply.

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