Egypt's Sisi calls to reach legally-binding deal on GERD

Egypt's Sisi calls to reach legally-binding deal on GERD Mon, Mar. 13, 2023
CAIRO – 13 March 2023: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi asserted the importance to reach a legally-binding deal on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with Ethiopia in a joint press conference with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

“I have found understanding by the Danish prime minister that Egypt, the world’s driest country, does not have a chance to bear any water shortage at any time,” Sisi said during the presser after holding talks with Frederiksen in Cairo.

Sisi affirmed the need to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the Ethiopian dam, saying Egypt has exerted 10 years of efforts and keenness to reach a proper solution on the issue with the Ethiopian brothers.

“While we understand the development in Ethiopia … and we are ready to cooperate with them on it, this should not affect the Egyptian citizen by any means,” Sisi stated.

Regional, int’l issues

Sisi said he also discussed with Frederiksen regional and international issues, where they affirmed the importance of reaching a solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

This would contribute to reducing tensions in light of the crisis’s implications on the security and stability in the region and the world, the Egyptian president added.

The Danish premier acknowledged the energy and food difficulties in Egypt and Africa as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war, saying that Denmark would work to alleviate the issue.

Meanwhile, Sisi affirmed the need to find solutions to the regional crises without interference in the internal affairs of the countries.

Curbing migration

Frederiksen highlighted cooperation with Egypt to prevent illegal immigration and human trafficking.

Sisi said he discussed with the Danish premier the illegal immigration issue, affirming that Egypt has not allowed any ship or citizen to migrate illegally to Europe through Egypt’s land or sea borders since September 2016.

“This is a humanitarian obligation that Egypt commits to,” Sisi said, affirming Egypt’s keenness to “never become an illegal immigration crossing point to Europe.”

Sisi said that Egypt hosts six or more million guests, who it treats as citizens until the situation improves in their countries, which currently suffer from turbulence.

Sisi highlighted the importance to reach a solution for the regional issues and crises in order to achieve stability for these countries and enable them to control their borders against illegal immigration to Europe.

The president also affirmed the need to find a solution to curb migration of people from Africa to Europe by creating job opportunities and projects in the African states.

Human rights

Sisi said he spoke “frankly” with Frederiksen about Egypt's vision regarding the “important” topic of human rights, adding that the country’s vision is based on improving people's lives in all fields in accordance with the relevant standards set by the international organizations.

Sisi stressed that Egypt has been keen to speak about the human rights issue with the country’s European friends in every occasion to express the Egyptian vision on human rights.

The president said he found a “great understanding” from the Danish prime minister with regard to Egypt's vision on human rights, adding that this is “highly appreciated”.

Intensifying cooperation

During the presser, Sisi said Egypt is delighted to mark 65 years of diplomatic relations with Denmark.

The Danish prime minister hailed Egypt as a strong country in many fields, which has built strong partnerships, one of which is the partnership with Denmark.

He affirmed the presence of opportunities to foster economic relations between Egypt and Denmark during the coming period given Egypt’s geographical location, advanced infrastructure, and the presence of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

This would enable cooperation between Egypt and Denmark in the maritime shipping field, Sisi noted.

Egypt is ready to provide all facilitations required for the work of the Danish companies in Egypt, Sisi said.

Climate change, renewable energy

He added that discussed with the Danish prime minister possible cooperation opportunities in the fields of renewable energy, hydrogen, and environment in connection with the Egyptian efforts at the 2022 UN Climate Chance Conference (COP27).

For her part, Frederiksen said Europe and Africa need to build partnerships to resolve issues such as climate change, where Egypt is an inspiring example.

Frederiksen said Egypt played a leading role in terms of climate change, not only for the region but for the world, thanking Sisi for that role and the successful COP27 Egypt hosted in 2022.

Congratulating Egypt on several projects paving the way to green energy and coping with international challenges, Frederiksen said she discussed means the two countries may follow to curb climate change.