Egypt Briefs Congo, Rwanda on Renaissance Dam Developments
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Thursday handed over a message to Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi over a disputed dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile, the ministry said.
The message, from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, is the latest in a series of such letters Egypt has sent to African and Arab leaders in recent days as part of efforts to drum up support in its row with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
During their talks in Congo, the two men discussed developments in the course of negotiations over the $4.8 billion mega-dam.
Egypt’s FM Spokesman Ahmed Hafez said Shoukry stressed his country’s “desire to reach a fair and balanced agreement” with Ethiopia and with Sudan, another downstream country.
According to Hafez, Congo’s President praised the Egyptian efforts to reach an agreement in this regard.
“We understand that the Egyptian people are highly attached to the Nile River for being their only source of water,” Tshisekedi said, also appreciating Cairo’s lenience during all steps of negotiations.
Cairo and Addis Ababa have sent diplomatic envoys to various countries following the stalled negotiations that took place under the auspices of the United States and the World Bank.
The Egyptian FM had embarked on an African tour last Tuesday from Burundi.
Shoukry also visited Tanzania and South Africa and he expects to stop in South Sudan and Niger, where the FM is delivering a message from Sisi to leaders of the African continent on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Shoukry already initiated an Arab and European tour to press its case in the dispute with Ethiopia over the Nile dam.
Last week, he visited France and Belgium after making stops in each of Jordan, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.
Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan had expected to sign an agreement in Washington last month, but Ethiopia skipped the meeting and only Egypt has initialed the deal thus far.
On Friday, Shoukry handed a similar letter from Sisi to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, who thanked his Egyptian counterpart for the updates on the Renaissance Dam developments.
Hafez said Kagame praised the Egyptian-Congo relations and cooperation between the two countries at multiple levels.