Guterres: UN ready to partake in Ethiopia dam negotiations

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed the UN readiness to contribute to the African Union-led negotiations to reach a deal between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

This announcement was made during a phone call between Guterres and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Friday.

The UN chief confirmed that the United Nations is available to support and participate in the African Union-led negotiation process on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, at the invitation of the Chairperson of the African Union, President Felix Tshisekedi, according to the statement issued by Guterres.

He voiced hopes that the process would count on the full engagement of the parties in a serious negotiation.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that Shoukry stressed during the call with the UN chief on the necessity of launching a serious and effective negotiation process under the auspices of the African Union (AU) with the participation of international partners for a legally binding deal on the disputed Grand Ethiopian Dam before the upcoming flood season.

The Egyptian foreign minister reiterated the need for a fair and balanced legally binding accord on the dam that takes into account the interests of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan before Ethiopia’s planned second filling of the dam over the summer.

“Such a unilateral move would have negative impacts and consequences that should be avoided through reaching a deal on the dam at the earliest opportunity,” Shoukry said.

Sudan has proposed last month forming an international quartet committee to mediate the stalled negotiations on the dam. Egypt has backed the proposal.

The proposed committee would include the US, the European Union (EU), the UN, and the AU, and would be under the auspices of F?©lix Tshisekedi, the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the current head of the AU.

Source: Kuwait News Agency