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Egypt seeks peaceful solution to GERD crisis through negotiations

Egypt seeks peaceful solution to GERD crisis through negotiations

Cairo, Jul 7 (Prensa Latina) Egypt reaffirmed Tuesday that it seeks to solve the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute peacefully through negotiations that serve the interests of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia and defuse any tension or escalation, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said.
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Shoukry told Extra News TV channel that he held several intensive meetings in preparation for the planned UNSC session, in which he highlighted the Egyptian goal to reach a binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.

Shoukry said he also stressed the need to enhance negotiations under the auspices of the African Union within a new framework that facilitates reaching an agreement among the three concerned countries.

During the day, Shoukry met with representatives of Russia, China, Great Britain, the United States and France to explain Egypt’s stance.

In remarks to Al-Arabiya TV, Shoukry said both Egypt and Sudan are capable of defending their water interests, reiterating that ‘all options are open’.

He said the GERD negotiations cannot run indefinitely and that Egypt resorted to the Security Council in pursuit of reaching a GERD agreement.

According to an official statement, Egypt´s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Ati received an official letter from his Ethiopian counterpart indicating Addis Ababa’s decision to begin the second stage of filling the GERD´s reservoir despite the lack of a legally-binding agreement between the three African nations.

For Egypt, GERD´s unilateral filling threatens its water quota from the Nile, on which the country´s human consumption, agriculture and industry depend almost entirely on.

GERD has been a source of conflict since its construction a decade ago. Both Egypt and Sudan have been claiming that the filling should not have started without previous agreement between the parties because they fear a poor access to the Nile.

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