Egypt urges UN to push Ethiopia to engage in serious GERD talks
CAIRO, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Thursday urged the United Nations Security Council to push Ethiopia to engage seriously in the negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Shoukry made the remarks during a phone conversation with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, 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.
The Egyptian 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 United Nations, the European Union, the United States 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-meter filling of the GERD in June. The volume of the first-phase filling finished last year was 4.9 billion cubic meters.
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, both downstream Nile Basin countries, are concerned that the dam might affect their share of the water resources. Enditem