Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that Ethiopia has not shown any sign of accepting the solutions offered to the Nile dam crisis.
He spoke on Wednesday at the opening session of the Arab League, where he highlighted the importance of Arab support for Egypt and Sudan’s water interests.
Shoukry said that the Arab League Council had adopted important decisions that reflect the stability and firmness of Arab support for Egypt and Sudan, such as making the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue a permanent item on the agenda of the ministerial meetings and upcoming Arab summits.
He referred to the statement issued by the leaders of Egypt and Ethiopia on July 13, which agreed to restart the Nile dam negotiations to urgently conclude an agreement on the rules for filling and operating the dam within four months.
He said that Cairo hosted a trilateral round of negotiations on August 27 and 28, which revealed that Ethiopia’s position has not changed and that it has not shown any willingness to take any of the proposed compromises to resolve the Nile dam crisis that meet the interests of the three countries.
He added that Ethiopia’s unilateral approach has not changed regarding the filling and operation of the mega Nile dam, and that Egypt continues its tireless efforts to reach a peaceful solution to this matter, which affects its water rights, interests and national security.
Shoukry expressed his hope for the continued support of the Arab League to urge Ethiopia to abandon its unilateral decisions and show the necessary political will to reach an agreement over the Nile dam without delay.
He also discussed the details of the national platform for the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) Programme, which links water, food and energy projects. He said that the program is a model that can be followed by developing countries and emerging economies to stimulate climate investments and provide attractive investment projects in the fields of mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
The programme also aims to enhance private sector investments in priority projects in the water, food and energy sectors through blended financing. He discussed ways to cooperate with JPMorgan Chase in mobilizing funding for the program’s projects.
Shoukry also addressed the Palestinian issue and stressed that it requires ending the occupation and establishing an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. He said that any prejudice to the historical status of Jerusalem is completely rejected. He said that the Arab League reaffirms its adherence to the Arab Peace Initiative.
Shoukry said that the Arab League Council continues to deal with the Palestinian issue and confirms the Arab position. He stressed that violence only serves to fuel more violence, and that harming Al-Aqsa Mosque and trying to divide it temporally and spatially is completely unacceptable.
Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, stressed that the developments of the past period and the consequences of international conflicts have forced us to strengthen and join efforts, and provide platforms for joint action.
He also addressed the crisis in Sudan and said that it is causing a huge cost to the Sudanese people, as life has become impossible and state institutions are crumbling. He expressed his support for an initiative to save the agricultural season in Sudan, and stressed that it deserves the support of Arab countries.