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Sudan, Egypt to take part in GERD talks in DR Congo
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 03 - 04 - 2021

Sudanese delegation to the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) talks in Kinshasa will be headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariam Al-Sadiq and the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Prof. Yasser Abbas.
Also Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had headed to the Congolese capital on Friday to take part in a new round of the resumed African Union-sponsored talks on the Ethiopian dam (GERD).
The Congolese capital, Kinshasa, will host on Saturday the meetings related to the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD), under the patronage of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chair of the African Union 2021.
In a statement in Khartoum, the Sudanese's Foreign Ministry said that the talks aim at determining the negotiation approach and its tracks in light of the Sudanese proposal of the necessity to seek the help of an international mediation by a quartet of European Union, US, UN set to be led by the African Union to help the three parties; Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia to reach a binding legal agreement over the planned second filling of GERD, in a way addressing the interests and concerns of them.
The talks on the GERD, which has been suspended for months, will be resumed through a three-day meeting in DRC. The meeting will bring together the foreign and irrigation ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
The AU-sponsored talks had stopped since January, with Sudan arguing that the approach of talks had become ineffective and with Egypt blaming stalemates in the talks over Ethiopia's intransigence.
"Egypt's keenness in accepting this invitation from the Democratic Republic of the Congo stems from [the latter's] stance calling for launching a serious and effective negotiation process," a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry read on Friday,
The statement also said the current AU meetings seek to "reach a binding legal agreement on the filling and operating of the Renaissance Dam, in a way that takes into consideration the interests of the two countries".
The meeting comes a few days after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi took a hard line on the GERD dispute, warning that a compromise in Egypt's water share was a "red line".
He pledged action if the country's share of water from the Nile is jeopardized. "No one can take a drop of water from Egypt," El-Sisi said, warning of "inconceivable instability in the region that no one could imagine" if that is to happen.
His remarks followed a condemnation statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, objecting to Ethiopia's "sovereignty language" when speaking about the transboundary River Nile. The statement also reiterated rejection of Ethiopia's plans to complete the dam filling in July with or without an agreement.
Ethiopian officials have continued to affirm these plans although Egypt and Sudan have affirmed that implementing the second filling in July before reaching an agreement would have disastrous impact.
On Friday, Ethiopia's President Sahle-Work Zewde also affirmed her country is preparing for the second phase of the massive dam filling. "We have fulfilled the first phase of the Renaissance Dam filling after overcoming challenges and pressures," Zewde said in a video that was published in Amharic and translated by Al-Ain.
She added, "Ethiopia is determined to complete the construction of the dam that is aspired by all Ethiopians and represents the pillars of the state's developmental endeavors." — Agencies

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