Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has informed United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres of the current situation of the Ethiopia’s Nile dam talks.
In a phone conversation on Tuesday, Shoukry emphasised the foundations of the Egyptian position regarding the disputed project, stressing the need for a legally binding agreement on the rules of filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The Egyptian official also highlighted the dangers of Ethiopia’s unilateral measures regarding the second filling of the dam’s reservoir without reaching an agreement with concerned parties for the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan). He said that such a step would affect the stability and security of the Nile Basin.
Shoukry explained how important is the role of the UN and its affiliated agencies in contributing to the resumption of negotiations and reaching a fair agreement, as well as supporting the African Union’s (AU) efforts in this regard.
The Minister also sent letters to the UN Secretary-General, the President of the UN Security Council, and the President of the UN General Assembly, through which he explained all the dimensions of the GERD issue, the various stages of negotiation, and the latest developments.
Early in March, Guterres expressed the UN’s readiness to play a role in the GERD negotiations.
“The UN is available to support and participate in the AU-led negotiation process on the GERD,” Guterres said.
He announced that the UN may mediate in the talks at the invitation of Felix Tshisekedi, AU Chairperson and President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The UN head’s offer was borne of the hope that the process will count on the full engagement of the concerned parties in serious negotiations.
The Shoukry-Guterres conversation came just a few days after the official announcement of the failure of the latest round of negotiations on the Ethiopian controversial dam, held in the capital of the DRC, Kinshasa, on 4-5 April.