Egypt’s El-Sisi urges Ethiopia to accept ‘compromise’ over $5bn GERD dam

Egypt’s El-Sisi urges Ethiopia to accept ‘compromise’ over $5bn GERD dam
/ Ethiopia water, irrigation and electricty ministry
By Marco Cacciati June 6, 2023

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has once again called on Ethiopia to accept a "compromise" in relation to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the controversial hydroelectric dam that the Horn of Africa nation is building near the source of the river Nile. 

Al-Sisi made the remarks during a press conference held jointly with his Mauritanian counterpart, Mohamed Ould Cheikh Al-Ghazouani, who arrived in Cairo on June 5 for a three-day visit to Egypt. 

When discussing the GERD during his meeting with Al-Ghazouani, Al-Sisi emphasized the significance of Egypt's water security as an integral part of Arab Water Security.

He also highlighted the need for Ethiopia to display the required political determination to reach mutually agreeable solutions through negotiations, which should safeguard Ethiopia's interests while respecting the rights and interests of the downstream countries – namely Sudan and Egypt.

“We stressed the importance of urging Ethiopia to show the political will to adopt any of the common ground solutions that were put on the negotiating table and that meet its interests without encroaching on the rights and interests of the two downstream countries,” Al-Sisi said according to Al-Awsat.

The ultimate goal is to establish a binding legal agreement on the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam, he added.

The two presidents agreed to schedule a joint higher committee meeting at the foreign ministers' level next July. The Egyptian presidency stated that the meeting would see the signing of several cooperation agreements across various domains, aiming to enhance Egyptian-Mauritanian cooperation and partnership within the framework of the African Union (AU).

Al-Sisi and Al-Ghazouani also touched on diplomatic issues about Lybia and Palestine. Furthermore, they urged the warring parties in neighbouring Sudan to implement an immediate ceasefire and begin meaningful talks.