CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has reached a binding legal agreement to fill and operate the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
During his reception at the Federal Palace of Tanzanian President Samia Hassan, El-Sisi said the new deal “would enhance security and stability in the region as a whole, open up prospects for cooperation between the Nile Basin countries, and achieve the common interests of all parties.”
The spokesman for the Egyptian presidency, Bassam Rady, said that the meeting dealt with the latest developments in the dam, with both parties agreeing to intensify coordination on this sensitive and vital issue.
The spokesman said that El-Sisi welcomed Hassan on her first official visit to Egypt, stressing Cairo’s keenness to strengthen relations and consolidate strategic cooperation with Tanzania.
During the meeting, they also arranged for the holding of a joint committee between the two countries.
“We exchanged views on a number of current regional and international issues of common interest, and we also reviewed the developments of the Renaissance Dam issue as an existential issue that affects the lives of millions of Egyptians, and stressed the need to reach a binding legal agreement that regulates the process of filling and operating the dam, based on the rules of international law and the outcomes of the Security Council in this regard, away from any unilateral approach that seeks to impose a fait accompli and disregard the basic rights of peoples, and affirmed our vision to make the Nile River a source of cooperation and development as a lifeline for all the people of Nile Basin countries,” El-Sisi said during a press conference.
He added: “I would also like to emphasize full support for the implementation of the Julius Nyerere Dam construction project, to ensure the achievement of the best levels of performance and construction standards, so that this dam becomes a leading model and symbol of cooperation and friendship between Egypt, Tanzania and all brotherly African countries, especially since the completion of this national project would achieve the hopes and aspirations of the brotherly Tanzanian people, to get a better life.”
The president continued: “This project also represents a model of Egyptian support for the rights of the Nile Basin countries to achieve optimal utilization of their water resources in a manner that does not negatively affect the rights and capabilities of other countries.”
Hassan affirmed Tanzania’s keenness to develop relations with Egypt, and to obtain the support of Egyptian companies working in infrastructure, especially in light of her country’s ambitious development plans, including the Julius Nyerere Dam project.
The Tanzanian president also praised the pivotal role played by Egypt regionally in maintaining peace and security, praising Cairo for supporting stability in the Great Lakes region, East Africa and the Nile Basin, which she said was reflected by Egyptian support for resolving outstanding issues at international forums.