Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has said that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis depends on the extent of the project’s damage that will be inflicted on Egypt.
Speaking at a meeting of the African Affairs Committee at the House of Representatives, Shoukry said, “The negotiations took a long time, especially with [Ethiopia’s] intransigence on the second filling of the Nile Dam, Egypt has a very clear position by communicating with a binding legal agreement.”
He added that “there will be no harm to Egypt, and state agencies will monitor in a momentary manner this existential issue to the Egyptian people and will not tolerate it”.
Shoukry highlighted that “until now, the efforts made and the understanding of the three parties will not bear fruit as we expected, and that the negotiations did not reach a result through consultation, communication, and activating the role of observers such as the US and the African Union (AU)”.
The minister stressed that the international community “monitors Ethiopia’s intransigence, and when Egypt turns to the international community, it will be quite clear that Egypt has exhausted all efforts exerted by the intransigence of unilateral actions on the Ethiopian side”.
He pointed out that the consultations have not reached a result, though time remains, pointing to Egypt’s keenness to solve the crisis through negotiation and understanding.
Shoukry also highlighted Egypt’s keenness to provide an opportunity for international negotiators to resolve the crisis in a way that does not harm the interests of the two downstream countries, namely Sudan and Egypt.
“We continue our endeavour even if the time is narrowing in order to solve the crisis in a way that does not harm the interests of Egypt and Sudan, as the unilateral actions of Ethiopia harm the interests of the two downstream countries,” the minister said.
There is a daily review of the Ethiopian dam crisis, as water is a matter of existence for Egypt, he said.
Shoukry said that there are other projects on the Blue Nile that Ethiopia is carrying out. He said, “In return, international agreements and treaties must be respected in a way that does not harm the interests of other countries.”
In another context, Shoukry said that Egypt is an integral part of Africa, especially in the current period, and that Egypt is keen on its role in strengthening the capabilities of its African brothers. This is particularly related to Egypt’s interest in standing side-by-side with its African brothers during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The minister pointed out that activating African development mechanisms and efforts and the 2063 development plan is one of the most important routes Egypt is working on.
He noted that Egypt’s role is not limited to bilateral relations only, but that there are multilateral relations. The country is a basic partner with African countries, and adopts positions of participation and solidarity in international forums.
He stressed that Egypt is keen on achieving peace stability in the Horn of Africa and highlights the importance of this.
Shoukry also said that Egypt has a clear policy of continuing to support Egyptian-African relations in the diplomatic sphere.