Egypt Still Hopes Agreement On GERD to Be Reached By Summer

Ethiopian refugees register with UNHCR at Um Rakuba camp in Al Qadarif state, Sudan, after fleeing their home.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aati said on Wednesday Egypt is still hoping that an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) can be reached by the summer of this year.

The filling process of the dam has to be carried out in accordance with an agreement that takes into account the interests of the two downstream countries and limits the damage caused to them by the dam, Shoukry and Abdel Aati said during their meeting in Cairo with US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman and his accompanying delegation.

The meeting discussed the latest developments of the GERD negotiations and ways to ensure the success of ongoing efforts to reach a fair, balanced and legally binding agreement as regards the filling and operation of the dam, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez said.

During the meeting, the two Egyptian ministers reviewed the decade-long path of the GERD file that started when Ethiopia began building the dam without consulting with the two downstream countries.

The meeting also touched on ongoing negotiations on the rules for filling and operating the dam, which have been unsuccessful due to Ethiopia's intransigence and its rejection of all relevant technical proposals presented by Egypt during negotiations or those put forward by international mediators and approved by Egypt, including the agreement that emerged from the US-brokered negotiations.

Shoukry and Abdel Aati expressed Egypt's readiness to exert necessary efforts to ensure the success of the negotiation track that is sponsored by the African Union and led by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, noting that Cairo is looking forward to cooperating with its international partners, topped by the United States, to hammer out the desired agreement.

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