Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry delivered a message on Tuesday from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa over the latest developments in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Egyptian position in this regard, the Egyptian foreign ministry said.
According to the Egyptian foreign ministry, Shouky discussed in a meeting with the South African President the latest developments of GERD issues including the results of the latest round of talks between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan in Kinshasa, stressing that Egypt was keen to launch a serious negotiation path to reach a legally binding agreement that meets the best interests of the three countries.
Shoukry also discussed with President Ramaphosa Egyptian-South African bilateral relations, where he stressed on the Egyptian will to boost relations between the two countries in all fields.
South Africa was the third stop for Shoukry in his African tour following Kenya and Comoros on Monday.
South Africa headed the African Union in 2020 and played a role in the talks between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan concerning the dam.
The African tour aims to brief the continent's leaders on the recent updates on the GERD issue.
Shoukry is expected to head to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Tunisia next.
Congo, the current head of the AU, hosted in its capital, Kinshasa, the latest round of talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, that failed to reach any outcome.
Kenya and Tunisia are currently the only two African countries that have non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Egypt and Sudan have repeatedly pursued reaching a legally binding agreement on the rules for filling and operating the GERD amid concerns that the hydropower dam will affect their water shares, but the step has been repeatedly dodged or rejected by Ethiopia.
The decade-long dispute has escalated recently between Cairo and Khartoum, on one side, and Addis Ababa, on the other since the collapse of the Kinshasa talks earlier this month.
Egypt and Sudan have sent letters to the UNSC explaining the latest developments in the 10-year-old crisis and asking for a resolution that prohibits Ethiopia from taking any unilateral action before a legally binding deal is reached.
Ethiopia, on the other side, has called upon members of the UNSC to urge Egypt and Sudan to return to the tripartite negotiations under the brokerage of the AU.