Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Ugandan counterpart Sam Kutesa meeting on the sidelines of joint committee meetings in Cairo (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the latest meeting held in Addis Ababa between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) were unsuccessful due Ethiopia and Sudan’s refusal to share a report on the study conducted to determine the impact of the dam on downstream countries.
Shoukry made the comments during a press conference held Monday on the margins of joint committee meetings between the FMs of Egypt and Uganda.
The meeting in Adidas Ababa, which was attended by the irrigation ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, was held on Saturday to discuss outstanding issues on the technical report issued by French consulting firms Artelia and BRL, who are tasked with conducting the impact studies.
Shoukry said that any solution to the GERD deadlock should be reached on a “scientific” basis that “should leave no room for political interpretation.”
Shoukry stressed that Egypt’s willingness to end the deadlock was reflected by its recent suggestion to involve the World Bank as an impartial mediator in the negotiations, a proposal that has been rejected by Ethiopia.
Egypt has also repeatedly stressed that it would not object to the results of objective technical studies.
During the news conference, Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa said that reaching a scientific solution would be in the interest of all three countries.
Kutesa stressed that Egypt must receive assurances that its share of Nile water will not be threatened.
Both Kutesa and Shoukry expressed their hopes for fruitful talks during the coming meeting set to take place on 15 May.
"The coming round of talks aims to tone down the issue between the three countries," says Kutesa.
Shoukry also stressed that the meetings aim to adhere to the Declaration of Principles signed in 2015 between the leaders of the three countries, which asserts the need to complete the studies on the dam to avoid any possible negative effects on the downstream states.
Egypt, Uganda discuss counterterrorism, African security, cooperation
Monday's press conference came following the joint committee meeting between the Egyptian and Ugandan FMs ahead an expected visit to Egypt by Ugandan President Yoweri Musevni on Tuesday, when he will meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
The two foreign ministers discussed bilateral cooperation in many fields, countering terrorism as well as security issues on the African continent.
The two ministers agreed to hold Ugandan-Egyptian joint committee meetings every two years.
Shoukry and Kutesa also discussed cooperation efforts in the African Union, which Egypt will head next year.
Kutesa said that Egypt plays a "pivotal" role in maintaining the unity and security of African countries.
"We discussed means of confronting terrorism and joint efforts to eliminate these organisations and their devastating impact on the peoples of the continent," Shoukry said.
The Egyptian minister also spoke about an Egyptian Agency Partnership to develop projects in Uganda, as well as boosting investment and trade cooperation between both countries.