Egypt Calls for International Pressure on Ethiopia over GERD

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has urged the international community to put pressure on Ethiopia to reach a legally binding agreement on the rules for filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in a way that ensures Egypt’s water security.

The conflict between Cairo, Khartoum, and Addis Ababa began in 2011 when Addis Ababa began construction on the Blue Nile mega-dam.

The Nile basin is shared by Egypt and ten other downstream countries, but the Blue Nile tributary in Ethiopia accounts for more than 85 per cent of Egypt’s share.

Around 80% of the construction work has been completed so far, and Addis Abeba completed the second phase of dam filling in August, which is causing concern in Egypt and Sudan, which are concerned about the dam’s impact on their water shares.

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Sisi made the remarks during a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg on the sidelines of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Both sides discussed GERD developments, as well as other regional issues, he said.
Egypt prioritizes its historical rights in Nile waters, calling it an existential issue that requires international intervention to resolve, according to Bassam Rady, citing Sisi.

In mid-September, the United Nations Security Council urged Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to resume negotiations led by the African Union, emphasizing the importance of reaching a binding agreement on the filling and operation of GERD within a “reasonable timetable.”

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More than 90 per cent of Egypt’s water needs are met by its share of Nile water. The government is implementing a strategic plan to rationalize water use and provide alternative water resources.

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