Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during his meeting with the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Cairo on Sunday, 4 October 2020. (Photo: Egypt's presidential Spokesperson Facebook page)
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed to his Kenyan counterpart that Egypt insists on safeguarding its water rights by reaching a legal agreement concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that puts in place clear rules for the filling and operating the dam, and that achieves the common interests of all parties.
El-Sisi met on Sunday with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Cairo to discuss issues of common interest and the latest regional developments, according to a statement by the presidency.
During the meeting, El-Sisi assured that the water issue is of "the utmost significance" to the Egyptian people given that it is a matter of national security, the statement said.
The two leaders agreed to intensify coordination between the two countries in the upcoming period concerning this "critical and vital issue," it added.
Egypt and Sudan have been in talks with Ethiopia for years now to reach a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the massive hydropower dam that Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile.
The latest round of talks mediated by the African Union (AU) came to a close in late August without reaching a consensus on the legal and technical points of contention, after Ethiopia proposed a package of non-binding guidelines for the filling and operation of the mega-dam.
During the meeting with Kenyatta, El-Sisi voiced his appreciation for the deep-rooted relations, bilateral cooperation and unified vision between the two countries, affirming Egypt's keenness to strengthen ties and cooperation with Kenya in various fields.
The Egyptian president offered to support Kenya with Egypt's development expertise with regard to major national projects, especially in the sectors of infrastructure, housing, utilities, and roads through specialised Egyptian companies, the statement pointed out.
He also congratulated Kenyatta on his country's election as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2021-2022, expressing his confidence that Nairobi will be a good representative for Africa at the UN.
Kenyatta said his country is keen on developing bilateral cooperation with Egypt and increasing trade exchange, as well as benefiting from Egyptian infrastructures companies in light of Kenya's national development plan for healthcare, low-cost housing, manufacturing and food security, according to the statement.
He also lauded the "pivotal role" Egypt plays regionally to maintain peace and security, as well as Egypt's stances supporting stability in the Horn of Africa and East Africa.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and head of Egypt's General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel.