Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received on Tuesday his Sudanese counterpart Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi on her first visit to Egypt, as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Sudanese Revolutionary Government.
The two parties discussed the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). They stressed the importance of reaching a binding legal agreement on filling and operating the GERD that would achieve the interests of the three countries and preserve the water rights of Egypt and Sudan.
The two sides agreed that this solution should limit the damages of this project to the two downstream countries. They confirmed that they have a serious desire to achieve this goal at the earliest possible opportunity.
They also called on Ethiopia to show goodwill and engage in an effective negotiation process in order to reach this agreement. The two countries expressed their appreciation for the effort made by South Africa during its presidency of the African Union in facilitating the course of the GERD negotiations.
They welcomed the assumption by Congo of the leadership of these negotiations after its President Felix Tshisekedi assumed the presidency of the African Union.
The two ministers expressed concern about the stalled negotiations that took place under the auspices of the African Union. They stressed that Ethiopia’s implementation of the second phase of filling the dam unilaterally would pose a direct threat to the water security of Egypt and Sudan. They confirmed that this threatens the lives of 20 million Sudanese citizens.
They affirmed that this measure would be a material breach of the declaration of principles agreement concluded between the three countries in Khartoum on March 23, 2015.
The two ministers also affirmed that the two countries adhere to the proposal submitted by Sudan and supported by Egypt on developing the negotiation mechanism sponsored by the African Union through the formation of an international quartet led and managed by Congo in its capacity as the current chair of the African Union.
This mechanism includes the United Nations, the European Union and the United States to mediate in the negotiations. The two countries called on these four parties to adopt this proposal, announce their acceptance of it, and launch these negotiations as soon as possible.
They stressed the need to continue coordination and consultations between the two countries in this vital file. They also agreed to keep Arab countries informed of the developments in these negotiations on an ongoing basis.