Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has highlighted his country’s keenness to take part in talks on the issues relating to the controversial Ethiopian dam.
He also said that negotiations on the massive dam, which lies on the Blue Nile River, are ongoing to ensure an agreement is reached between the parties involved in the issue.
The President noted that negotiations take a long time, but that Egypt has taken several measures to diversify its water resources.
“We will reach a result on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with a long mind and patience, and we do not have to worry at all,” he added.
In a televised speech on Saturday evening, President Al-Sisi pointed out that the Egyptian people’s worries regarding the GERD issue are justified and legitimate. The country, however, is always manoeuvring in the negotiations framework, to protect its River Nile water rights.
He highlighted Egypt’s additional efforts to avoid water wastage, and instead preserve its access to water. These efforts include projects, such as lining the country’s canals, and establishing treatment plants such as the Bahr Al-Baqar plant, which will be inaugurated in June.
At a cost of EGP 20bn, the project aims to treat the agricultural, industrial and sanitary drainage of Manzala in Daqahleya Governorate, which has a capacity of 5.6 million cubic litres per day.
Moreover, President Al-Sisi said that more than 120 km of open canals and water lines have been created to irrigate nearly 400,000 acres in Sinai.
Meanwhile, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk said, on Saturday, that the GERD issue should be solved in accordance with international law.
Hamdouk noted that the Ethiopian dam poses a threat to the safety and security of more than 20 million of his country’s citizens.
During his speech before the 34th African Union (AU) Virtual Summit, Hamdouk said that Sudan agreed to move forward to solve this issue as part of the principle of African solutions to African problems.
Furthermore, Sudan’s Minister of Water Resources Yassir Abbas said, on Saturday, that Khartoum has proposed an expansion of the negotiations between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on the GERD issue. This would include the AU, the US, the European Union (EU), and the United Nations (UN). Sudan seeks to make the role of these parties as mediators, rather than just observers.