Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Egypt seeks to reach a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as the international community is totally aware of the great danger it poses on downstream countries.
In a phone interview with ‘Kelma Akhira’ TV program, aired on ON E channel Saturday night, Shoukry said failing short to overcome obstacles hindering a solution over the GERD would further scale up violence and conflict in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) should shoulder its responsibility towards containing repercussions of failure of talks in this respect, the foreign minister said.
Egypt will continue to put forth its vision vis-à-vis GERD, Shoukri said, adding that GERD issue should be taken with great seriousness.
As for some countries’ stand in opposition of interfering in river-related issues, the minister said countries nominated to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)’s membership to maintain international security and stability, should stand up to their role regarding water-related issues or any issue affecting international security and stability.
“Egypt is pressing ahead with all political and diplomatic efforts in GERD talks, with a view to reaching out a fruitful result to achieve its goal, giving the priority to protecting Egyptians’ interests,” he said.
As for Ethiopian officials’ statements on GERD, Shoukri dubbed the Ethiopian statements as “provocative”, stating that such statements were meant to dissuade Egypt from the main topic. He said Egypt adopts a balanced policy that enjoys wide world respect.
The foreign minister said if Ethiopia did not commit to the UNSC resolution, this would be another proof for the international community that Ethiopia has no political will and show its stubbornness, and the international community will have to deal with this stance.
At this point, Egypt and Sudan would use up all the available means, especially the peaceful ones, within the political framework, Shoukry noted.
Egypt and Sudan have the right to call on the UNSC to convene, Shoukry pointed out, adding consultations among its members are underway to set the meeting date.
Regarding the Ethiopian statements that accuse Egypt and Sudan of scuttling the negotiations, the foreign minister clarified that these allegations attempt to hide the reality of the Ethiopian stance.
He noted the two countries are positively engaged in the African process, citing Egypt and Sudan’s several proposals at the Kinshasa-hosted talks.
As for the meeting of the African Union (AU) Bureau that did not issue any recommendations on GERD, the top diplomat said Egypt’s participation in this meeting was as a member of the bureau not for addressing the issue.
Shoukry also said the US envoy communicates with the three countries and DR Congo, as the president of AU, to determine the best path to reach a solution to the crisis.