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Sisi, ministers discuss Ethiopian Dam issue ahead of US meeting

CAIRO – 22 January 2020: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday met with a number of ministers, to discuss the issue of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and other issues, including counter-terrorism efforts.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Minister of Defense Mohamed Zaki, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Water Resources Minister Mohamed Abdel Aaty, and chief of the General Intelligence Services Abbas Kamel attended the meeting, said the Presidency in a statement.
The meeting discussed developments of the GERD issue a week after Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, the countries concerned with the construction of the $4 billion dam, which has a total volume of 10.4 million cubic meters, finally achieved a breakthrough and agreed on an agreement concerning the technical and scientific problems on the dam construction.
Sisi’s meeting with the ministers also comes ahead of the next session of meetings later in January in Washington, in order to design a comprehensive agreement concerning the filling and operation of GERD.
Sisi highlighted the need to preserve Egypt’s water rights, during the meeting.
The meeting also discussed a number of issues including counter-terrorism, within the framework of securing the state’s borders. He also reviewed the developments of a number of foreign issues that pose threats to the security of the region.
GERD talks
The agreement reached between the three Nile countries earlier in January came after nine years of disagreements and discussions between them, as Egypt has voiced concerns over its water share.
Foreign Ministers and Water Ministers of the three countries held a series of three-day meetings at the US Department of Treasury in Washington on January 13-15 after they had reached a deadlock at the end of the US, WB-brokered discussions held in the period between November 15, 2019, and January 9, 2020.
At the end of the meetings which were attended by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and President of the World Bank David Malpass in Washington D.C. on Wednesday evening, the three countries reached an agreement on all different points regarding the filling and operation of the $4-billion dam, which locates on the Blue Nile.