Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the latest developments concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with a group of European Union (EU) foreign ministers in Brussels.
Shoukry shared the results of the recent United Nations Security Council meeting, held last Thursday, on the Ethiopian dam, the Egyptian foreign ministry said.
During the meeting held over breakfast, Shoukry expressed Egypt’s appreciation of the EU statement last week criticising Ethiopia for commencing the second filling of GERD without reaching an agreement with downstream countries Egypt and Sudan, the statement added.
Egypt and Sudan have repeatedly demanded a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam within a specific a timeframe, Shoukry said.
Shoukry also affirmed the importance of outlining a roadmap to reach a just and binding agreement on the operation of the dam, endorsing a earlier call by the EU.
Last week the EU said "a jointly agreed clear roadmap is urgently needed, setting out the timeframe and specific aims of the negotiations for talks to resume as soon as possible, and to continue on a regular basis thereafter."
The EU also called upon the three parties to resume negotiations under the aegis of the African Union.
The Egyptian foreign minister has been in Brussels since Sunday to hand over a message from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to the President of the European Council Charles Michel.
In media statements to Cairo-based Extra News on Saturday, Shoukry stated that Egypt was seeking to involve the EU in future negotiations over GERD’s filling and operation policies along with the UN and US under the auspices of the African Union.
Shoukry's visit to Brussels follows a week he spent in New York where he engaged in talks over GERD with UN officials and state representatives in the Security Council before participating in the council's meeting on Thursday.
In the meeting with the EU foreign ministers, Shoukry tackled the latest developments in Palestine, asserting the need to revive international support to the peace process to reach a complete and just settlement.
Egypt continues its efforts to achieve peace and stability in this issue based on the two-state solution in addition to working on the reconstruction of Gaza and presenting humanitarian aid and development support in the Palestinian territories in cooperation with the Palestinian authorities, he added.
The top diplomats also discussed the latest developments in Libya where they agreed on the importance to hold the Libyan elections on 24 December 2021 without further delay and the necessity to clear Libya of foreign troops and mercenaries.
On Syria, the foreign ministers exchanged views, with Shoukry stressing on the illegal immigration file and Egypt’s efforts to stop the influx of migrants since September 2016 in addition to hosting six million migrants and refugees in the country.
Besides discussing the strategic bilateral relations between EU and Egypt, especially ways to boost European investments in the country, Shoukry showcased the latest positive steps taken in the human rights file on the political, economic, and social levels.
Following his meeting with the EU ministers, Shoukry held a series of individual meetings with the European ministers of foreign affairs and EU officials.
According to the Egyptian foreign ministry, he held a meeting with Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu to tackle the means to boost bilateral cooperation as well the latest developments in the GERD dispute.
Shoukry also held a meeting with the EU Commissioner for International partnership Julia Urpilamen to discuss bilateral cooperation and partnerships.