President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met Saturday the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa.
Presidential Spokesperson Alaa Youssef highlighted that President El-Sisi assured Egypt’s commitment to the bilateral relations between the two countries.
“Concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) President Al-Sisi affirmed that all countries that signed the co-operation convention in Khartoum should take serious procedures to fulfil the agreement; taking into account the Egyptian share of water,” said Youssef.
“President Al-Sisi also agreed on the importance of strengthening the trade and investment bonds between Egypt and Ethiopia. Both President Al-Sisi and Prime Minister Desalegn agreed on the need to strengthen the Joint Ministerial Commission and further cooperation to eliminate terrorism,” said Youssef.
Further, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a statement: “The approach we are taking towards the GERD is both political and scientific. It is not useful to be irrational and to jump straight to absolutes for such an important case.” He added that the effects of the dam will not be limited to Egypt’s water interests, but will also extend to environmental and economic aspects.
The Egyptian presidency has given the dam the utmost priority, and is monitoring every step taken in its construction to ensure that Egypt will not be affected and there will be no threat to its water share, Shoukry noted.
Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Hossam El-Moghazy said on Sunday that the financial cost of the GERD studies will be shared by Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, according to their agreement. He also said that they will review the financial offer after approving the technical one.
Experts are currently studying the technical offer on a national level, and it will be evaluated in a meeting that will be held in Khartoum, Sudan for four days by experts from the three countries. They also agreed to give the experts from each counrty a week to study the technical offers provided by BRL and Artila consultancy firms, which will conclude within this week, said El-Moghazy.