Egypt stresses need to reach binding deal on GERD before second filling
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi highlighted yesterday Egypt’s good will during negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
He said Egypt negotiated seriously and in good will, hoping to reach an agreement that protects the interests of all the states concerned.
He added at the African Union summit, hosted virtually by the current chair, the Democratic Republic of Congo, that this agreement would only be reached if the parties concerned had the necessary political will.
“We are very keen on this issue [reaching an agreement] through serious negotiation, in ways that would boost regional security, stability and development,” President Sisi said.
“I have full confidence in the ability of the African Union to contribute to pushing forward our efforts for reaching a legally-binding agreement on the operation and filling of the Ethiopian dam,” he added.
The president underscored the importance of reaching this legally-binding agreement before starting the second phase of filling the dam.
“This has to be done in a way that would address the concerns of the three states [Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan],” the president said.
President Sisi said President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo is taking over the AU helm at a time full of challenges and hardships.
He praised the reforms introduced into the pan-African organisation in the past period.
These challenges, he said, include the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for completing negotiations over the continental free trade area and moving ahead with the administrative, financial and institutional reform of the AU.
The president underlined the importance of abiding by the quota specified for each member state in posts inside the AU, depending on the contribution of each state in the budget of the organisation.
President Sisi said continental integration and regional integration were inseparable.
He added that programmes for the development of the infrastructure of the continent are a cornerstone of the aspired continental and regional integration and a pillar of the continental free trade area.
“Egypt would like to share its experience of developing its infrastructure with its sister countries in the continent,” President Sisi said.
He added Egypt fully supports the realisation of objectives included in the African development agenda for 2063.
President Sisi called for the protection of African heritage and making a constructive promotion of African culture.
This is especially important, he said, as Egypt prepares to open a series of cultural projects, including the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will be the largest in the world.
The president called for more cooperation and solidarity among African countries so that they can contain Covid-19 pandemic.
He said Egypt welcomes its participation in the African working group for making a Covid-19 vaccine available.
“We affirm our keenness to honour our responsibility to make the vaccines available for the states of the continent,” President Sisi said.