Egypt Foreign minister Sameh Shoukry with Senegalese President Macky Sall in their meeting during his visit to Senegal on Wednesday April 21, 2021. Photo courtesy Egypt foreign ministry official Facebook page
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry delivered on Wednesday a message from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to Senegalese President Macky Sall to explain Egypt's stance on the recent developments in the stalled negotiations over the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
As part of his African tour, Shoukry briefed President Sall on the results of the Kinshasa-hosted meetings on the GERD, which were held on April 4-5 with the aim of reviving the African Union (AU)-sponsored negotiations.
Senegal, which is a member of the AU Bureau, is set to preside over the AU next year.
During the meeting, Shoukry asserted that Egypt displayed a political will during the latest two-day round of talks to engage in a serious negotiating approach aiming to reach a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam in a way that preserves the water rights and interests of the three countries concerned.
Shoukry stressed Egypt's hope to work with various countries and parties concerned to solve the issue in a way that would prevent harm to the security and stability of the region, a statement by the foreign ministry said.
Sengal is the sixth stop for Shoukry in his African tour following Kenya, Comoros, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Niger.
Shoukry is expected to head to Tunisia within the coming hours.
The decade-long dispute, which has been a source of tension between Cairo and Khartoum, on one side, and Addis Ababa, on the other, has recently escalated on the heels of the collapse of the Kinshasa talks earlier this month.
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.
Egypt and Sudan have sent letters to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) explaining the latest developments in the GERD crisis and asking for a resolution that prohibits Ethiopia from taking any unilateral action, including its intention to embark on a second filling of the dam,resevoir, 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.