Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, met with Ayman Akil, President of the Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights, Hajar Monsef, Director of the African Affairs and Sustainable Development Unit at the Foundation, and representatives of the African initiative “Nile for Peace”.
Dr. Abdel-Aty expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights, pointing to the important role played by civil society organizations in introducing water issues in the African continent, achieving communication and exchanging visions between different peoples, and correcting misconceptions and lies that are promoted and circulated by some regarding the water sector. .
Dr. Abdel-Aty also reviewed the developments of the Nile water issue and the current position regarding the negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, stressing Egypt’s keenness to complete the negotiations to reach a just and binding legal agreement for all that meets the aspirations of all countries in development, while emphasizing Egypt’s constants in preserving its water rights and achieving benefit for all in any Agreement on the Renaissance Dam.
The Minister of Irrigation indicated that the current path of negotiations under the auspices of the African Union will not lead to significant progress, and that Egypt and Sudan demanded the formation of an international quartet led by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in which the United States, the European Union and the United Nations participate to mediate between the three countries.
Abdel-Aty pointed out the importance of the negotiations being effective and serious to maximize their chances of success, especially with the negotiations reaching a stage of stagnation as a result of Ethiopian intransigence, stressing that Egypt and Sudan will not accept the unilateral act of filling and operating the Ethiopian dam.
The Minister of Irrigation referred to the severe damage that Sudan suffered as a result of the unilateral filling last year, which caused Sudan to suffer from a severe drought, followed by a massive flood, due to the Ethiopian side implementing the first filling process without coordination with the two downstream countries, and the Ethiopian side releasing quantities of Silt-laden water last November without informing the downstream countries, which caused an increase in turbidity in drinking water stations in Sudan.
Abdel-Aty explained that Egypt supports development in the Nile Basin countries and African countries.. Egypt has established several rainwater harvesting dams and underground drinking water stations to provide pure drinking water in remote areas far from water gatherings, with the use of solar energy technology in a large number of areas. Underground wells to allow their operation to be sustainable.
The Minister of Irrigation pointed to the implementation of projects to purify waterways and protection from flood dangers, and the establishment of many fish farms and river marinas, and the ministry’s contribution to preparing the necessary studies for projects to establish multi-purpose dams to provide electricity and drinking water for citizens in African countries. Egypt also helps African countries in building dams. Including, for example, the (Stigler Gorge) dam on the River (Ruvingi) in Tanzania, which is being built by a number of Egyptian companies, in a way that meets the aspirations of the Tanzanian people to achieve development, in addition to what Egypt provides in the field of training and capacity building for technical cadres from the Nile Basin countries.
It is worth noting that the “Maat” organization is a founding member of the African initiative “Nile for Peace”, which was launched in the Ugandan capital “Kampala” last April, which issued a document calling for a binding legal agreement between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia regarding the dam. The Ethiopian Renaissance preserves the interests of the three countries, while emphasizing the right of each country to achieve development for its people without affecting the interests of other peoples. The initiative includes (500) members from 60 countries so far.
Egypt and Sudan stressed the importance of coordinating the efforts of the two countries at the regional, continental and international levels to push Ethiopia to negotiate seriously, in good faith and with real political will in order to reach a comprehensive, just and legally binding agreement on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, after the negotiations sponsored by the African Union reached a dead end due to intransigence. Ethiopian.
A joint statement issued at the conclusion of the talks held by a high-level Egyptian delegation – including Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Ati, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt, during his visit to Khartoum, Wednesday, to hold intensive talks with the Sudanese side, which includes Dr. Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs And Professor Yasser Abbas, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, with the participation of technical and legal experts from both sides, where the discussions took place in a friendly and positive atmosphere characterized by mutual understanding – that the consultations focused on the developments of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam file, where the two parties agreed on the serious risks and dire consequences of the unilateral filling of the Renaissance Dam.
The visions of the two countries also agreed on the need for coordination to move to protect security, peace and stability in the region and the African continent, which requires active intervention by the international community to ward off risks related to Ethiopia’s continued pursuit of its policy of seeking to impose a fait accompli on the downstream countries and the unilateral will that Ethiopia continues to follow. Which is embodied in its announcement of its intention to fill the Renaissance Dam during the upcoming flood season without taking into account the interests of Sudan and Egypt.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Irrigation in Sudan and Egypt expressed deep concern about the potential effects and damages of filling and operating the Renaissance Dam unilaterally and without a legally binding agreement regulating the work of this huge dam on the rights and water interests of Sudan and Egypt, and stressed the importance of concerted international efforts to reach a settlement of the Renaissance Dam crisis that takes into account the interests of The three countries achieve their common interests.
The talks also touched on the bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries, where the two sides affirmed their keenness to strengthen and deepen the eternal relations that bind the peoples of the two countries.