Egypt urges UN to push Ethiopia for Nile dam talks


Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has urged the UN Security Council to push Ethiopia to engage in serious negotiations over the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River.

Shoukry made the remarks during a phone conversation with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The discussions focused on the latest developments of the GERD negotiations and the failure to achieve any progress in this regard, the statement said, adding that Shoukry rejected Ethiopia’s unilateral measures on the filling of the mega dam, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Minister stressed the necessity to reach a binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam that guarantees the interests of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

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.

Sudan proposed a mediation quartet of the UN, the European Union, the US and the African Union regarding the GERD issue.

Ethiopia, however, has rejected this formula.

In February, Ethiopia said it would carry on with the second-phase 13.5-billion-cubic-metre filling of the GERD in June.

The volume of the first-phase filling finished last year was 4.9 billion cubic metres.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the dam project.

Egypt and Sudan, both downstream Nile Basin countries, are concerned that the dam might affect their share of the water resources.