‘The Nile is life to us’, Sisi stresses necessity of negotiations to reach legally binding accord on GERD

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed the necessity of negotiations to reach a legally binding accord over the deadlocked Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute.

In a talk with army officers and soldiers following the 33rd armed forces’ symposium, El-Sisi highlighted that the Nile River represents “life to us and our brothers in Sudan.”

“The message we always show is one calling for negotiations to reach a legally binding deal on the operation and filling of the dam,” he said.

He said that GERD was an advantage to Ethiopians, adding that they “have benefited from the dam.”

“This is not something we reject. What connects us through the Nile is bigger than any dispute… A legally binding agreement should be reached with everyone a winner,” he said.

His statements come days after El-Sisi travelled to Sudan in a first visit by the leader since the country’s autocrat President Omar Al-Bashir was overthrown in 2019.

El-Sisi agreed with the head of the Sudanese Transitional Sovereignty Council Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan on the importance of reaching a binding legal deal on the dam.

He reiterated the need to support the Sudanese proposal to form a quartet committee composed of the United Nations, African Union, European Union, and United States to mediate between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the filling and operation of the GERD.

Last week, Khartoum proposed to a delegation from the DR Congo, the current chair of the African Union, to develop the methodology of negotiations by forming a quartet committee to mediate the talks under the supervision of the DRC.

Ethiopia rejects the proposal, arguing that is “demeaning” the efforts of the AU, the current mediator of the talks.

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