Middle East

Egypt will not be ‘hostage’ to dominate Nile

Nation will not to be drawn into prolonged negotiations to consolidate status quo, says foreign minister

Mahmoud Mohamed Barakat   | 26.01.2021
Egypt will not be ‘hostage’ to dominate Nile

CAIRO

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Tuesday that his country "will not be a hostage to the efforts to impose hegemony on the Nile River."

His remarks were made in an address before a plenary session of the House of Representatives, according to Egypt’s flagship Al-Ahram newspaper.

"Egypt has not and will not be drawn into extending the negotiations and consolidating the status quo on the ground, and has not and will not allow it to be a hostage to the efforts of some to impose control and hegemony over the Nile River," said Shoukry.

He said Egypt's participation in talks sponsored by the African Union "was not aimed at negotiating in and of itself, but rather in order to preserve its interests in a just manner."

"We acted internationally at the level of the [UN] Security Council and the file was referred to it, and the Council held a historic session on the Renaissance Dam, during which we confirmed that Egypt will not neglect its rights and will not leave anyone to undermine its interests," he said.

"Washington's negotiations reached a balanced and fair agreement, and Egypt signed the initial deal. However, the Ethiopian side, unfortunately, reserved the agreement, boycotted the negotiation path, and proceeded to fill the reservoir unilaterally.”

For nine years, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have been locked in stalled negotiations about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Addis Ababa insists on filling the dam even if it does not reach an agreement with Cairo and Khartoum.

Egypt and Sudan are determined to reach a tripartite agreement first, to ensure they are not negatively affected, especially in terms of their annual share of the Nile water.

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