Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said on Saturday that Egypt expects a final and fair agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that protects its water rights, .
This came during press statements after the end of the final round of GERD talks held in Washington on 12 and 13 February.
He also said that the agreement is expected to serve the interests of three countries in general.
Shoukry also said that there are points of importance that the parties did not agree on, but they put forward their vision towards them to the US side and the World Bank. They came back with a vision on how to formulate these elements in a way that leads to achieving balance in the three countries’ interests.
Shoukry also noted that the US will propose a final draft to Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan within the coming week so as to be submitted to the governments and presidents of the three countries to consider.
The minister stated that the previous round of negotiations for the GERD in Washington focused on the technical aspects related to the agreement regarding the filling and operation of GERD and the rules governing combating drought and water scarcity.
He continued that the current round focused on the legal aspects related to the agreement, including tariffs, the dispute settlement mechanism, the information exchange between the three countries in connection with the implementation of the agreement, the rules of filling and operating, and other legal issues such as ratification of the agreement and its entry into force, and how to make amendments to it.
The minister expressed his confidence that US relations with the three countries and its strategic ties with Egypt will make Washington introduce a balanced, fair, and objective output.
The minister said that before the last round, there were technicians and jurists from both sides to put forward their vision regarding these issues and formulas included in the agreement, topped by matters that were agreed upon between the three countries, but a group of important issues remained a matter of difference in visions of the three countries.
He pointed out that Sudan and Egypt showed identical stances on many topics within the framework of the similar conditions of both downstream states and special ties binding them.
He also praised the technical and legal capabilities showed by the US Treasury Department.
The US engagement in this issue and signing a final deal will help maintain stability in East Africa, and among the three countries, he said.
During Washington’s meeting, the three sides have agreed to entrust the US and the World Bank with the preparation of the final agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD, according to a statement by the five parties. These negotiations have finally ended long years of stalemate.