Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abu Zaid denied that Egypt demanded mediation by Israel in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis, stressing that minister Sameh Shoukry’s visit to Israel focused on the Palestinian conflict and bilateral relations between Egypt and Israel.
The cooperation between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan is sufficient to achieving the three countries’ common interests, Abu Zaid said. In March 2015, the three signed the declaration of principles agreement that emphasised the principles of cooperation, development, and regional integration.
Meanwhile, in a phone call on Sunday, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US secretary of state John Kerry that he favoured the peace initiative proposed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi rather than the French plan. Al-Sisi’s desire to push the peace process is a “positive thing”, he added.
During the phone call Netanyahu said: “I don’t think there is any point in countries far from the region interfering. Countries in the region that may be affected by this situation need to be involved. I want a process by which countries in the region advance normalisation with Israel as well as negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Earlier this month, Shoukry visited Israel for the first time since 2007, however, he faced internal criticism as a result of the diplomatic visit.