CAIRO – 8 May 2021: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi reiterated that Egypt would not accept any harm to its water security as he met on Saturday with DR Congo’s President and African Union chair Felix Tshisekedi.
The meeting comes amid Ethiopia’s insistence to complete the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) filling in July despite objections by Egypt and Sudan about filling the dam before an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam is reached.
Receiving Tshisekedi in Cairo, Sisi affirmed Egypt’s appreciation of the efforts made by the Congolese president and voiced confidence in the latter’s ability to deal with the GERD issue, the Presidency said.
Sisi affirmed Egypt’s keenness to support the Congolese efforts within the framework of the negotiations path and under the auspices of DR Congo as the current chair of the African Union.
Sisi also voiced Egypt’s keenness to involve international partners with the aim of reaching a legally-binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.
The Egyptian president affirmed the necessity that a legally-binding agreement is reached on the dam to preserve the Egyptian water rights and spare the region further tensions and instability.
Tshisekedi affirmed his keenness to intensify coordination on this sensitive issue during the coming period to help all the concerned parties to achieve progress in the trilateral negotiations on GERD.
The Congolese president also hailed the great efforts Egypt has made to reach a fair and balanced GERD agreement that takes into account the interests of the three countries.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aati and General Intelligence Service chief Abbas Kamel attended the meeting.
The meeting mainly addressed the latest developments of the GERD issue, the Presidency said.
Sisi during the meeting hailed the historic and firm relations gathering Egypt and DR Congo, voicing his keenness to consolidate joint cooperation between them in various fields.
Tshisekedi hailed the bilateral relations with Egypt, especially in light of the pivotal role Egypt has played in the region to preserve security and stability.
Rounds of AU-sponsored negotiations among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the Ethiopian dam have reached a deadlock several times with Egypt blaming the failure on Ethiopia’s intransigence.
Ethiopia says it will complete the dam filling in the next rainy season with or without an agreement.
Egypt on April 13 sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council, calling on the international community to engage in advancing the stalled GERD talks and persuade Ethiopia to refrain from unilateral acts.