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Egypt urges UN Security Council intervention to resolve GERD dispute, Shoukry tells Guterres

Zeinab El-Gundy , Thursday 10 Jun 2021
Sameh Shoukry
File photo: Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres in Munich, 16 February (Photo: Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Facebook page )
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Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told the UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday that the Security Council can push Ethiopia to "engage in serious negotiations with an honest political will" to reach a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Shoukry called on the international community to contribute to resolving the dispute and reaching an instrument that will preserve the interests of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, read a statement by Egypt's foreign ministry.

Sudan has put forward a proposal of a mediation under a quartet composed of the UN, European Union, United States, and African Union. The proposal was backed by Egypt but totally brushed aside by Ethiopia.

The Egyptian foreign minister discussed with Guterres the latest GERD developments and the failure to reach progress in this file, stressing that Cairo rejects any unilateral action concerning the second filling of the dam, set to take place in July.

On Wednesday, following a meeting in Khartoum between the Egyptian and Sudanese foreign and irrigation ministers, the two downstream countries urged in a joint statement concerted international efforts to help reach a settlement to the GERD dispute with Ethiopia.

Egypt and Sudan called on the international community to recognise the dangers associated with the ongoing Ethiopian policy, which is based on forcing a fait accompli on the downstream countries.

The two countries have been negotiating for almost a decade now with Ethiopia to reach a legally binding and comprehensive deal on the GERD’s construction, which Addis Ababa started to build on the Blue Nile in 2011.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia intends to commence its second filling of the GERD's reservoir on 22 July with or without forging a deal, a unilateral move that has been rejected by both downstream countries.

The African Union-sponsored talks between the three countries have failed to reach a deal. 

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