Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry affirmed that his country will not neglect its rights, nor will it tolerate any harm that extends to its interests or affects the capabilities of its people, whose existence and life are linked to the Nile and its bounties.
Shoukry pointed out that Egypt’s participation in the ongoing negotiations under the auspices of the African Union does not mean that it is negotiating for the sake of negotiations, explaining that negotiation is only a means and a tool to reach the desired agreement, and not an end or an end in itself.
The Egyptian Minister stressed – before the plenary session of the House of Representatives headed by Counselor Hanafi Jabali – that Egypt will not accept that it drifts into a maneuver to prolong the problems, or to establish a reality on the ground and impose it on others.
He stressed that it is not possible to accept that this river, to which the fate of millions relates, will be held hostage to the efforts of some to impose control or hegemony over it, as he put it.
He added that concluding an agreement that takes into account the interests of the three countries (Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan) in the issue of the Renaissance Dam is necessary, but unfortunately Ethiopia is acting unilaterally and intransigently in the issue of the Renaissance Dam.
The minister pointed out that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry was able to impose the Renaissance Dam file on the international community to the extent that it held a special session at the Security Council for the Renaissance Dam file in June 2020, and this is happening for the first time in the world for the Security Council to hold a session of a waterway, as he put it.
Shoukry added that Egypt is seeking, through the negotiations of the Renaissance Dam, to reach a fair and balanced agreement that allows partners in the Nile waters to achieve development goals in Ethiopia and protect the rights of Egypt and Sudan.
He added that his ministry provided the necessary support to the Ministry of Irrigation in various rounds of negotiations, including Washington negotiations, until a balanced agreement was reached on the rules for filling the dam, taking into account the rights of the three countries, but Ethiopia reservations and rejected it, stopped the negotiations and proceeded to fill the dam with a unilateral decision without agreement.
The meeting held earlier this month between the irrigation ministers in Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt did not lead to a rapprochement of the positions on the Renaissance Dam, nor did the African mediation lead to any progress towards resolving this crisis.
Negotiations have stalled since last November after several rounds failed to approximate positions between the three countries concerned – especially between Ethiopia and Egypt – regarding the rules for mobilizing and operating the dam, which is being built on the Blue Nile near the Ethiopian-Sudanese border at a cost of more than $ 4 billion.
Addis Ababa insists on filling the dam with water even if it does not reach an agreement on it with Cairo and Khartoum, while the latter two insist on the need to first reach a binding, tripartite agreement, to ensure that their annual share of the Nile water is not negatively affected.