Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry is expected to visit Ethiopia next week in an attempt to resume negotiations concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to Reuters, quoting Ahmed Abu Zeid, ministry spokesperson.
Shokry is expected to meet his Ethiopian counterpart. The visit’s purpose is to resume the negotiations which were halted, in regards to the GERD tripartite agreement between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, on 12 November. The dispute centres on the distribution of the Nile’s water shares after the establishment of the dam.
Egypt is trying to solve the dispute diplomatically after ministerial meetings reached a stand off. The Ethiopian prime minister is expected to visit Egypt in January according to a well-informed source who spoke to Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity.
During the annual conference held by the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs on Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdy Loza asserted the high priority of the GERD case in his speech on behalf of Shoukry.
Furthermore, Salah Halima, member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs stated that Sudan sides with Ethiopia against Egypt. He further explained, mentioning how Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir stressed that any assault on Ethiopia is an assault on Sudan. Halima highlighted the fact that Sudan claims that Halayeb and Shalateen fall under Sudanese sovereignty.
In response to the Sudanese Foreign Ministry’s letter to the United Nations declaring its rejection of the maritime boundary agreement between Saudi Arabia and the Arab Republic of Egypt, signed on 8 April 2016, Egypt expressed its complete rejection of Sudanese claims to Halayeb and Shalateen included in that letter, which states that they are under Egyptian occupation and originally belong to Sudan. Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid reportedly said Thursday that the Foreign Ministry plans to address the UN Secretariat, in a letter, to express its rejection of the Sudanese allegations.