gypt’s concerns over Ethiopia’s plans to move ahead with the second filling of its Nile Dam, widely known as GERD, relations with other African nations, and the development of the Suez Canal region dominated President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s talks with visiting foreign officials and local officials this week.
On Thursday, the president issued instructions for maintaining the development of all Suez Canal Authority facilities and the waterway’s navigation course.
This would reinforce its unique strategic status as an international trade lifeline, the president said.
The president’s instructions came during his meeting with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Osama Rabie.
The meeting focused on the outcomes of investigations into the grounding of the Ever
Given containership in the Suez Canal.
The president praised the Suez Canal Authority’s management of the crisis and its success in refloating the ship after it blocked navigation in the canal for almost a week.
A day earlier, the president told US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, that Egypt would not tolerate harm to its water interests and its people’s resources, as they discussed the Ethiopian dam dispute.
President Sisi said Nile water is an “existential” issue for Egypt, calling on the international community to shoulder its responsibility in resolving this crisis.
The president also highlighted the vital role of US influence in this regard.
Egypt seeks a fair and a legally-binding agreement on the dam under the auspices of the African Union, the president said, underscoring Egypt’s flexible approach towards the Ethiopian dam in the past years.
The president noted that this approach had always been based on Egypt’s attempt to reach a fair, balanced, and legally-binding agreement that respects the interests of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.
He added that Egypt had sought an agreement that would also take Egyptian rights to water security into consideration.
On the same day, the president received a message from Malian President Bah Ndaw, which included praise for continual growth in bilateral relations between Cairo and Bamako.
The Malian leader expressed his country’s deep appreciation for Egypt, its people and its leadership for their continual support of its development aspirations, political will and clear vision in advancing joint African action.
Delivering the message to the president was Malian Foreign Minister Zinni Moulay.
President Sisi highlighted the special nature of relations with Bamako, especially in the light of its important location in the African Sahel region, which is of great importance for regional security as a whole.