Egypt, Mauritania presidents urge Ethiopia to adopt middle-ground solution on GERD

Amr Kandil , Sunday 4 Jun 2023

Egyptian and Mauritanian presidents called on Ethiopia to adopt one of the middle-ground solutions proposed during negotiations regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi holds a press conference with his Mauritanian counterpart, President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, in Cairo. Egyptian Presidency/still image

In a press conference on Sunday following a meeting between the two presidents in Cairo, El-Sisi said he and Ghazouani discussed the dam and its serious repercussions on the water security of the Nile River’s downstream countries.

El-Sisi said he and his Mauritanian counterpart stressed that Egyptian water security is inseparable from Arab water security.

“We have also stressed the importance of urging Ethiopia to demonstrate political will and accept any of the middle-ground solutions proposed on the negotiating table, which would meet its [Ethiopia’s] interests without encroaching on the rights and interests of the downstream countries,” El-Sisi said.

This aims at reaching a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of GERD, El-Sisi said.

For his part, Ghazouani hailed the Egyptian approach in dealing with the issue.

“We have discussed the patience and wisdom that the Egyptian leadership have adopted in tackling this very important topic,” the Mauritanian president stressed.

Ghazouani arrived in Cairo on Sunday and was received at the airport by President El-Sisi.

Crisis in Sudan

El-Sisi and Ghazouani stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire in Sudan.

“We have stressed the importance of an immediate and sustainable ceasefire and the preservation of the Sudanese national state institutions and the prevention of their collapse,” El-Sisi stated.

El-Sisi said he and Ghazouani also agreed on the importance of intensifying efforts to deliver urgent relief and humanitarian aid to the Sudanese people to alleviate their suffering. 

“From this platform, we urge all parties to prioritise wisdom in order to preserve the resources of the Sudanese state and the interests of its people,” El-Sisi stated.

Ghazouani said he hopes that the Sudanese brothers are capable of overcoming the ongoing crisis.

“We hope that we have passed the difficult stage in Sudan and that what comes next will be better,” the Mauritanian president added.

Palestine, Libya

El-Sisi said he discussed with Ghazouani developments in Arab issues, adding that they agreed on the need to boost joint Arab work to preserve Arab national security and safeguard their unity, sovereignty and resources.

El-Sisi said he and Ghazouani discussed the efforts made to preserve the rights of the brotherly Palestinian people and to fulfill their aspiration for establishing an independent state on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

On Libya, they also agreed on the necessity of holding the Libyan presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously and ensure the exit of all foreign troops and mercenaries “without an exception and within a specified timeframe.”

This comes in line with the relevant international resolutions, the Egyptian president added.

Ghazouani highlighted the prominent historical role played by Egypt in the major Arab and Islamic issues, adding that he looks forward for the continuation of this role.

Backing African development

El-Sisi said he and Ghazouani agreed to enhance their efforts within the African continent in light of the two countries’ vital role in this regard.

They also agreed on continuing coordination and cooperation within the framework of the African Union (AU) as well as their efforts to back peace, security and development in the continent.

This aims to “enable it (Africa) to overcome the challenges and achieve prosperity and stability for all the people of our deep-rooted continent,” El-Sisi stressed.

Enhancing cooperation

El-Sisi said he looks forward to furthering the firm cooperation between Egypt and Mauritania in a way that achieves their peoples’ interests and aspirations.

“Our consultations have reflected the joint political will to enhance the distinguished relations between the two countries and push them forward to broader horizons in various fields,” El-Sisi stated.

This comes through the activation of cooperation frameworks and coordination at all levels, given the joint challenges facing Egypt and Mauritania, El-Sisi explained.

This includes challenges to achieve sustainable development, face foreign interference in the region, counter terrorism and extremist thought and preserve the national institutions, the Egyptian president said.

The Mauritanian president extended congratulations for the Egyptian people on the national achievements made under El-Sisi.

“We have the right to be proud of these achievements because we consider that everything Egypt has achieved is for all of us and that Egypt’s strength means the strength of the [Arab] world,” Ghazouani added.

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