CAIRO: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will participate in a special session of the UN Security Council on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Thursday.
Shoukry continued his intensive meetings in New York with several of his ministerial counterparts, permanent delegates of Security Council member states, and officials of the UN, to reiterate Egypt’s firm position on the issue.
He emphasized Egypt’s desire to reach a binding legal agreement on the filling and operating of the dam that takes into account the interests of the three countries involved — Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia — while preserving Egypt’s water rights.
Shoukry also held a meeting with the African Union group, comprising the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Senegal, to explain the Egyptian position.
He held similar meetings with the permanent representatives of Russia and China in the Security Council and stressed the need for the council to assume its responsibilities toward this issue.
In televised statements, he said that negotiations with Ethiopia would not be indefinite, adding that Egypt and Sudan must defend their water interests in the Nile.
Shoukry said Egypt seeks a peaceful solution to the issue through negotiation with Ethiopia.
He said Egypt aims to defuse any tension or escalation, explaining that it is the responsibility of the Security Council to work with preventive diplomacy.
The minister said the issue of the dam is of utmost importance due to its direct connection to Egypt’s national security and considers it an “existential issue.”
He reiterated Egypt and Sudan’s rejection of the unilateral measure taken by Ethiopia, which started the second filling of the GERD this week.