CAIRO: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has confirmed that progress to resolve the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis remained stalled after Addis Ababa rejected regional and international mediation to solve it.
The minister was speaking at a meeting of the Foreign, Arab and African Affairs Committee of the Egyptian Senate.
Egypt has a clear position on not impeding development in Ethiopia, but not at the expense of other countries, especially when the situation is related to the waters of the Nile, he said.
Shoukry briefed the Senate’s deputies on the results of his recent African tour, carrying messages from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to the heads of other African countries about the developments over the GERD.
The minister stressed that there was understanding from other African states towards Egypt’s position.
“The world is witnessing changes, and Egyptian policy is based on strong foreign relations with countries in addition to our pioneering role in the region,” Shukry said.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly warned that his country was at risk of suffering from water poverty due to increases in its population.
He added that the average Egyptian’s share of water was around 600 cubic meters per year, while the water poverty limit is 1000 cubic meters per year.
Negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the GERD have so far failed to reach a binding agreement.
Talks were held in early April in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, with representatives from Cairo and Khartoum voicing their fears over the potential negative effects of the dam on the Nile and its dependents downstream.