26 December 2017

North Africa: Shoukry Heads to Addis Ababa to Follow Up Renaissance Dam Negotiations

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry heads on Tuesday 26/12/2017 Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to meet with his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu.

This comes in the framework of following up on bilateral cooperation between the two countries and the results of the Renaissance Dam Tripartite National Committee's latest round of meetings.

Official MFA Spokesperson Counselor Ahmed Abu Zeid stated that the visit comes in the framework of a new Egyptian move aiming to break the deadlock in the technical path undertaken by the Renaissance Dam Tripartite National Committee (TNC).

This is consistent with Egypt's firm approach during the previous phase in dealing with the issue from the standpoint of fully abiding by the terms of the Agreement on Declaration of Principles.

In addition to expressing good will, the desire to build trust, and laying the foundation of cooperation while fully preserving Egypt's legitimate water interests.

Abu Zeid clarified that it is expected that FM Shoukry will put forth ideas and suggestions aiming to help parties approve the Inception Report prepared by the consultancy firm as soon as possible to ensure the conclusion of the Dam studies within the timeframe specified in the Agreement on Declaration of Principles.

The Egyptian move stems out of full realization of the current situation's sensitivity as a result of the halt in the technical negotiations path and its effect on delaying conducting the studies that would specify the Dam's possible negative implications on Egypt and means to avoid them.

It is especially noteworthy that the Agreement on Declaration of Principles signed between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan in March 2015 obliges the three states to reach an agreement on the number of years to fill the Dam's reservoir and its method of operation in light of the results of these studies.

The MFA Spokesperson also expressed hope that the Egyptian and Ethiopian sides reach understandings that would lead to breaking the current impasse, in agreement and consultation with Sudan as the third party in the Agreement on Declaration of Principles.

The MFA Spokesperson, further, added that FM Shoukry will utilize his time in Addis Ababa to, also, coordinate with his counterpart regarding Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's upcoming January visit to Egypt, as well as, following up preparations for the High Joint Committee between the two countries in Cairo.

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