Egypt's president sends message to S. African counterpart over GERD

2021-04-20 14:31:08 GMT2021-04-20 22:31:08(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CAIRO, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi sent on Tuesday a message to his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa over the latest developments on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Egypt is keen to launch a serious negotiation to reach a legally binding agreement that meets the interest of the three countries," said the message.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry delivered the message in a meeting with the South African president, during which Shoukry highlighted the latest developments of GERD issues, including the results of the latest round of failed talks among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in Kinshasa.

They also discussed means of boosting bilateral relations in all fields, added the statement.

South Africa was the third stop following Kenya and Comoros of Shoukry in his African tour to brief the African leaders on the recent updates on the GERD issue.

Shoukry is expected to head to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Tunisia later.

Ethiopia said in February that it would carry on with the second-phase 13.5-billion-cubic-meter filling of the GERD in July.

Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia have been in talks for years over the technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the dam project, while Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for its freshwater, are concerned that the dam might affect their share of the water resources. Enditem