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Sunday, 27 June 2021

Lamees talks to Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on GERD

The GERD impasse was the top story on the nation’s airwaves last night: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry gave an extended interview to Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidy to discuss Egypt and Sudan’s recent push for a UN resolution in the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Ethiopia’s rejection of the involvement of the UN Security Council and insistence to continue the AU-led negotiations, and international efforts to pressure Addis Ababa to re-enter negotiations before the dam’s planned second filling in the coming weeks. You can watch the full interview here (watch, runtime: 25:56). Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 5:42) also took note of the Ethiopiam Foreign Ministry’s letter to the council accusing the two downstream countries of stalling GERD talks under the auspices of the AU. We have the full story in this morning’s news well above.

Shoukry is confident that the council is going to act: Egypt is in talks with permanent missions to the UN in New York to call on the Security Council to hold an urgent session to discuss the dispute at the earliest in a bid to reach a binding agreement with Addis Ababa on the dam’s filling and operation, Shoukry said (watch, runtime: 3:44). A majority vote from the nine-member council on a draft resolution that’s being drawn up by Cairo and Khartoum is assured, Shoukry said, noting that he could visit New York during the second week of July to talk GERD with the UN Security Council (watch, runtime: 2:35).

A final attempt at diplomacy? Ethiopia would further demonstrate “a lack of political will” should it refuse to adhere to a Security Council resolution, and would push the international community to take action, according to Shoukry (watch, runtime: 1:56). By that time, Egypt and Sudan would both have resorted to all “peaceful, democratic and friendly resources possible” in their pursuit of a binding agreement in the GERD file, the minister said, without mentioning what action the government could take.

A completely different dam also got attention on the airwaves last night: South Sudan’s plans to build a 10.4 MW hydroelectric dam with Egypt also received air time, with El Hekaya’s Amr Adib slamming press reports claiming that the two sides are joining forces for the construction of a GERD 2.0, stressing that Egypt is rather lending a helping hand to a neighboring developing nation on a small-scale project (watch, runtime: 2:13 | 6:10). Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 2:22) also took note of the agreement signed between Egypt and South Sudan at the weekend.

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