Egypt demands a timeframe for GERD talks with Ethiopia and Sudan

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Jun 2020

The new talks, set to begin on Tuesday, must not be ‘a tool for stalling’, Cairo said

The National Security council headed by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo. (Photo: Egyptian Presidency)

Cairo is demanding a timeframe for the technical talks with Ethiopia and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that are set to begin on Tuesday, according to a statement by the Egyptian National Security Council.

“Egypt has received an invitation from the Sudanese irrigation minister to resume the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam talks on 9 June 2020, and as Egypt asserts its initial position that it is ready for negotiations in order to reach for a balanced and fair agreement to achieve the interests of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, it considers this invitation to have come late, three weeks after its launch.”

“That is why it is important to have a timeframe for the talks, in order not to make the talks a new tool for stalling or evading the obligations of the Declaration of Principles of 2015,” read the statement, issued after a council meeting on Tuesday.

The National Security Council, headed by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in Libya as well as the Ethiopian mega-dam, the presidential spokesman said.

Khartoum and Addis Ababa announced on 21 May that Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan had agreed to resume technical discussions on the GERD.

“This invitation was issued on the same day Ethiopian authorities asserted their determination to fill the GERD without reaching an agreement with Egypt and Sudan,” read the statement.

“Nevertheless, Egypt will participate in the technical talks to discover the political will in order to reach an agreement and to prove Egypt’s goodwill,” the statement concluded.

The irrigation ministers of the three countries are scheduled to resume technical talks on the GERD on Tuesday via an online meeting.

Previous tripartite negotiations stalled in February after Ethiopia skipped the final round of talks in Washington.

El-Sisi also held a meeting with Defence Minister Mohamed Zaki in Cairo on Tuesday, according to a presidential statement.

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