Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will not be operated by imposing a ‘fait accompli" policy, stressing that Egypt is not against developments in Ethiopia.
"One of the main challenges facing the Egyptian state after the 2011 Revolution is the construction of the Renaissance Dam project that will badly affect Egypt’s share of Nile," Sisi said during a dialogue on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York with a number of influential American figures within American society.
"The Dam was supposed to be built by conducting negotiations between the Ethiopian and the Egyptian sides since 2011, but at that time the Egyptian people were writing a new beginning after the removal of ex-president Hosni Mubarak," he added.
He added: "There is a price that will, unfortunately, be paid by the Egyptians and the forthcoming generations."
"Egypt's share of the Nile water must be kept untouched”. Sisi confirmed," adding, “We have agreed with Ethiopia, in 2011, during the framework agreement on the way of filling the reservoir, but unfortunately the technical committees have not yet been able to reach an agreement on this matter".
"We have no other source of water"
"The dam will not be operated by imposing a fait accompli, because we have no other source of water but the Nile, which is the lifeblood of the Egyptians" he said, noting that 95 percent of Egypt is desert. “If there is water shortage, there will be a severe impact on the Egyptian people”, he pointed out.
Sisi added, “We are responsible for Egypt and Egyptians’ security”.
He stressed that "Egypt always adopts a dialogue policy, and we began to hold diplomatic meetings with other parties on this issue in order to find a way out of the current crisis.
"We must reach an agreement approved by Egypt in order to control the damage we can bear after completing the construction of the GERD," he said.
He pointed out that "Egypt is currently suffering from water poverty, which will be gradually worsened due to the rising population, and the limited share of the Nile water."