Egypt's FM Shoukry, South Africa's Ramaphosa discuss Ethiopian dam issue

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 Mar 2020

Shoukry and Ramaphosa
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo: Egypt's Foreign Ministry)

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry explained to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Cairo’s position on the negotiations regarding the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

In an official statement, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said that Shoukry met Ramaphosa during a visit to South Africa and presented him with a letter from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on the developments in the dam negotiations.

Shoukry explained the developments in the talks over the past five years up until the latest Washington-sponsored draft agreement, which he described as “fair and balanced” and said accomplishes the interests of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Hafez said that Ramaphosa expressed his appreciation for the “dispatching of a top-level Egyptian envoy with a letter from the president on the latest with regards to the Egyptian stance on the GERD.”

They agreed on the importance of coordination between the two sides on various issues.

South Africa is Shoukry’s second stop in an African tour which will see him visit Burundi on Tuesday before heading to Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Niger and Rwanda.

Over the past weeks, Egyptian officials have delivered messages on developments related to the GERD to Gulf and European partners, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, France and the European Union, in an attempt to seek support amid a rift with Ethiopia over the mega-dam after the Washington-mediated talks failed. 

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