Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry received, on Wednesday, Alphonse Ntumba Luaba, the coordinator of the unit in charge of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) presidency of the African Union (AU) for 2021.
The meeting addressed several issues of mutual concern and the latest developments on the negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan relating to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
During the meeting, Shoukry welcomed Ntumba and his accompanying delegation in Cairo, and offered Egypt’s congratulations to DRC President Felix Tshisekedi on the country’s assuming the AU presidency early in February.
He also expressed Egypt’s appreciation for the DRC side’s keenness to conduct the visit as part of efforts to address the latest developments in the Ethiopian dam issue and its various dimensions. This takes into account the African Union’s sponsorship of the negotiations process.
Shoukry further affirmed Egypt’s great appreciation for the DRC efforts in this regard, and Cairo’s aspiration to the important role the country can play regarding the dam.
The minister noted the DRC’s potential in helping reach a binding legal agreement on the rules for filling and operating the GERD, that takes into account the interests of the three involved countries.
The meeting also discussed the proposal submitted by Sudan, and which is supported by Egypt, to develop a mechanism for the GERD negotiations. This will take place through the formation of an international quartet that includes the US, the EU, and the UN, besides the AU.
The quartet should mediate negotiations under the auspices and the supervision of President Tshisekedi, in order to push the negotiation track forward and to assist the three countries in reaching the desired agreement as soon as possible.