Tunisian, Norwegian FMs want UN Security Council to discuss GERD issue in July

Ahram Online , Tuesday 29 Jun 2021

They discussed coordinating stances with other UNSC member states on the GERD issue


Tunisia’s Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi and his Norwegian counterpart Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide discussed on Tuesday the possibility to bring the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the table of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session in July.

Both officials met on the sidelines of the meetings of foreign and development ministers of the Group of 20 countries in Italy.

They also discussed coordinating stances with other UNSC member states on the GERD issue, the Tunisian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Egypt and Sudan have recently sent two separate letters to the UNSC urging the international body to intervene by holding an emergency session.

This comes as Ethiopia has reiterated its plans to implement the second phase of dam filling next month. Egypt and Sudan, however, have warned against such step before a legally-binding deal is reached among the three countries on the filling and operation of the mega dam.

They urged the UNSC to dissuade Ethiopia from proceeding with filling the dam without reaching a legal deal with downstream countries.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in media statements this week affirmed that the UNSC would be the last option available within the diplomatic framework.

Jerandi also discussed the GERD issue with Shoukry on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against Daesh, which is being held on Monday and Tuesday in Rome.

Shoukry and Jerandi agreed on continuing coordination on regional issues and coordinating stances with other UNSC members so that they urge the GERD dispute parties to resume consultations.

These consultations should aim to find a fair and permanent solution to the issue, which would secure the interests of all parties and their rights to the Nile water, they agreed.

The Egyptian and Tunisian ministers affirmed the need to bilaterally coordinate in light of the UNSC’s possible role in the GERD issue, especially as Tunisia is currently a non-permanent member of the council.

Shoukry in remarks to Kelma Akhira TV program on Saturday said Egypt hopes that the UNSC behaves in a way that enhances Egyptian and Sudanese efforts to reach a legally binding deal on GERD.

Shoukry said Egypt “will have exhausted all peaceful means” if Ethiopia does not abide by the UNSC reaction on the GERD issue.

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