Egypt urges GERD agreement ahead of reservoir filling

Egypt urges GERD agreement ahead of reservoir filling
Ethiopia said the construction of the Renaissance Dam is 78 percent complete and indicated its commitment to conclude negotiations. (AP)
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Updated 05 January 2021

Egypt urges GERD agreement ahead of reservoir filling

Egypt urges GERD agreement ahead of reservoir filling
  • Agreement should ‘achieve the common interests of the three countries,’ and ‘secure Egypt’s rights and water interests’

CAIRO: Egypt has urged the need for an agreement “at the earliest possible time” with Sudan and Ethiopia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) ahead of the second phase of its operation.

The three countries have agreed to bilateral meetings with experts to negotiate the filling of the dam’s reservoir.
Egypt said that the agreement should “achieve the common interests of the three countries,” but at the same time “secure Egypt’s rights and water interests.”
The comments came during a tripartite meeting between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia that discussed resuming negotiations on filling and operating the dam. The talks were held in the presence of African Union experts and international observers, headed by South Africa.
In a statement, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the meeting reached an agreement to hold a round of negotiations between the three parties, extended for one week, with the aim of discussing substantive aspects and points of disagreement on the dam agreement, in the presence of observers who are taking part in negotiations and experts appointed by the African Union Commission.
At the end of this week, another six-party ministerial meeting will be held, chaired by South Africa, to consider the outcomes of the tripartite negotiation round.
The Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources said that the three countries reviewed their positions regarding an agreement that would allow negotiations to resume, in light of the “positive development” of experts submitting a memorandum of agreement for the three countries.
The ministry added in a statement that Sudan welcomes the development, but considers it “insufficient” due to the absence of a “clear role” for experts in facilitating negotiations and proposing solutions for future issues.

FASTFACT

The Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources said that the three countries reviewed their positions regarding an agreement that would allow negotiations to resume, in light of the ‘positive development’ of experts submitting a memorandum of agreement for the three countries.

The statement said that the meeting concluded with the adoption of Sudan’s proposal that the coming week be devoted to trila-teral meetings between the three countries and a group of experts and observers.
The minister of international cooperation in South Africa urged the future meetings to identify points of agreement and disagreement between the three countries, provided that they resume on Jan. 10.
South Africa said it hoped that negotiations will conclude by the end of January, before the end of its African Union presidency.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Irrigation said that ministers of the three countries exchanged views on the continuation of tripartite negotiations by focusing on a draft document presented by experts commissioned by the head of the African Union.
The ministry added that construction of the Renaissance Dam is 78 percent complete, and that Addis Ababa expressed a positive view of the draft document and stressed its willingness to use it as a unified working document for tripartite negotiations, confirming agreement on most issues related to the first filling and the annual operation of the dam.
However, Ethiopia warned that it “will not accept” any agreement that limits its right to use Nile waters, indicating its commitment to conclude negotiations and reach an agreement.
The three countries have held several rounds of talks since Ethiopia launched the GERD project in 2011, but are yet to reach an agreement on filling and operating the dam’s huge reservoir.


UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
Updated 36 min 11 sec ago

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
  • The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areasboth sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas

DUBAI: The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and ways of ensuring security and stability in the region with his Cypriot counterpart on Monday,.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan reviewed the prospects of advancing relations with Cyprus in a meeting in Abu Dhabi with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of enhancing international cooperation to ensure fair and equitable access to the vaccine for every country in the world.
Christodoulides praised the UAE’s significant overall efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the efficiency of its adopted measures in mitigating the economic and social effects of the crisis.
During his visit to the UAE, the Cypriot minister also met with the Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), Saqr Ghobash, accompanied with the Ambassador of Cyprus to the UAE, Yannis Michaelides.
During the meeting, both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas.
Ghobash said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on their parliamentary cooperation is required, in addition to reinforcing the role of joint parliamentary friendship committees.
A parliamentary friendship committee between the two countries will hold a meeting in the first quarter of 2021, Ghobash said, and stressed the importance of improving their coordination during global parliamentary events.
Christodoulides said that the UAE was a leading regional and international stature, noting that it is a strategic partner of his country.
He also conveyed the invitation of the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus to Ghobash to visit Cyprus as head of a parliamentary delegation, to discuss ways of reinforcing their parliamentary ties.