December 1, 2022

National Youth Film Festival

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Egypt and Sudan strengthen their alliance in the face of the Ethiopian dam

Egypt and Sudan have strengthened their alliance in the face of the “Renaissance Dam”, which Ethiopia is building on the main tributary of the Nile, and which raises tensions with the two downstream countries. During high-profile talks, which Cairo witnessed yesterday, the fourth of its kind in a short period, the two countries agreed to “intensify coordination between the two sides, and strengthen regional and international contacts to activate the proposal to form an international mediation quartet, in order to help reach a binding legal agreement on the rules for filling and operating the dam,” Before the next rainy season ». Ethiopia plans to implement a second phase of filling the dam lake, during the rainy season, next July, in a measure that Egypt and Sudan have warned of its “negative repercussions” on their water security unless a prior agreement is reached.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received, at the Federal Palace yesterday, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk, only 5 days after a summit that brought together Sisi and the head of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in Khartoum last Saturday. According to the Egyptian presidential spokesman, it was agreed to “intensify vigorous coordination between the two sides in light of the current delicate stage that the Renaissance Dam file is going through, and to strengthen contacts with regional and international parties to activate the Sudanese proposal to form an international quartet to mediate, in order to help reach a comprehensive and binding legal agreement on rules Filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, before the next rainy season. In an attempt to move the stalled negotiations, Sudan presented a proposal supported by Egypt, with “quadripartite mediation”, which includes the United States, the United Nations and the European Union, as well as the African Union, which has sponsored the negotiations for several months. But the proposal was rejected by the Ethiopian, which insisted on the continuation of the African role. Since 2011, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been negotiating to reach an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The three countries failed to reach an agreement. Recently, coordination and understanding emerged in the Egyptian and Sudanese positions regarding the “Renaissance Dam” file. On the third of March, Cairo and Khartoum witnessed simultaneous diplomatic and military talks, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan, Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, visited the Egyptian capital, in parallel to a meeting of the Joint Military Committee, headed by the chiefs of staff of the two countries, in Khartoum. Egypt stresses its support for development efforts in Ethiopia, as indicated by Mustafa Madbouly, the Egyptian Prime Minister, during a press conference with his Sudanese counterpart, yesterday, but he stressed that his country’s constants “focus on the historical rights and interests of the two countries in a way that does not harm the interests of the brothers in Ethiopia.” “We express our concern about Ethiopia’s intention to proceed with the filling for the second year of the Renaissance Dam without coordination with Egypt and Sudan, and we are very keen to complete coordination and cooperation between us in this important file,” Madbouly added, expressing his hope that Ethiopia will respond in this coming period in a way that achieves the interests of the three Peoples. Hamdok expressed the consensus of the Egyptian and Sudanese visions in terms of the desire to reach an understanding that “allows this dam to achieve the aspirations and interests of the region and not harm it to any of the three countries.” Hamdok said, “In July of last year we witnessed the unilateral filling of the dam, and we also know that there is a trend from Ethiopia that the filling will take place next July, and this allows a very short time to deal with this issue … We hope that in this short period we will be able to We realize the possibility of this filling being done in a compatible manner, and we are able to reach an agreement that allows it. ”
In the absence of a clear position by the new American administration, Egyptian diplomacy has sought over the past few days towards the European Union, with the aim of urging it to play a greater role in pushing Ethiopia to respond to the Egyptian and Sudanese demands. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called, during a call with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, Josep Borrell, yesterday evening, for “European involvement”, stressing the importance of the role that the European Union might play in any future negotiations. Shoukry stressed that Ethiopia’s decision to unilaterally fill the dam reservoir “will have negative repercussions on the two downstream countries.” During their talks in Paris yesterday, Shoukry briefed his German counterpart Heiko Maas on the developments of the Renaissance Dam file, and demanded a role for the European Union in this regard, in order to reach a negotiated solution to the issue. On the other hand, Hamdok’s talks in Cairo yesterday dealt with the entirety of regional issues in the Horn of Africa regions, and the bilateral relations between the two sides. Al-Sisi affirmed Egypt’s continuous support to Sudan through cooperation and coordination in all files of mutual interest.
The meeting witnessed discussions on ways to advance bilateral cooperation, especially with regard to the transfer of the Egyptian experience in economic reform to Sudan and training of Sudanese cadres, in addition to the implementation of the two projects of electrical and railway connections, and the promotion of a favorable climate for the establishment of joint investment projects, whether industrial or agricultural, as well as boosting relations. The commercial and economic activities of the two countries, in addition to activating the activities of the joint technical committees, as well as activating the memoranda of understanding and protocols concluded between the two countries.