Egypt’s Sisi stresses need for binding deal on GERD in meeting with African Union commission head

Egypt’s President, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, reiterated the necessity of formulating a binding legal agreement with Sudan and Ethiopia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), as he met with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki on Sunday.

El-Sisi affirmed that an agreement should fundamentally address Egyptian concerns, especially those related to the rules of filling and operating the dam, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

He also renewed the rejection of any measure or act that harms Egypt’s water rights in the Nile River.

Multiple rounds of negotiations between the three countries to reach a binding deal on the filling and operation of the dam have ended in various deadlocks.

Last year, Ethiopia unilaterally completed the first filling of the GERD and plans to execute the second filling of the dam next July “under all circumstances.”

In a speech to the Egyptian House, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, complained that Ethiopia is acting unilaterally and intransigently in the GERD dispute.

Faki, during the meeting, expressed appreciation of the Egyptian efforts in the ongoing GERD negotiations and Egypt’s insistence on reaching a solution to the issue.

Faki highlighted the need for intensive coordination on the dam issue so that a fair and balanced agreement can be reached.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry attended the meeting.

El-Sisi and Faki discussed a number of African issues in light of preparations for the upcoming African summit, scheduled for February. They reviewed updates on conflicts and the efforts to settle them, foremost among which is the Libyan crisis and the situation in the Horn of Africa.

El-Sisi referred to the role of achieving stability and establishing a comprehensive infrastructure that allows linkage among African geographical provinces as the starting point for the path of development in the continent.

Sisi affirmed that “Egypt has not and will not spare any effort toward supporting its African brothers and that its hand will remain always extended for cooperation, construction, and development for the sake of all African countries.”

According to the presidency, Faki affirmed that the African Union’s efforts are based mainly on Egypt’s role in the continent, saying that this role represents a strong pillar for joint African work.

He expressed confidence that Egypt will continue its role in enhancing developmental efforts in Africa and preserving security and political stability throughout the continent.

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