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Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the 6 points that were reached at the conclusion of the meetings of the Egyptian, Ethiopia and Sudan irrigation foreign ministers in Washington under the auspices of the United States of America and the World Bank, do not represent an agreement in itself or agreement on specific elements, but rather an attempt to review various issues That was addressed and the items of interest.
He added, “Shukry”, in an interview with the Middle East Agency: “We are cautiously optimistic that we are now approaching a critical point.” He pointed out that a date has been agreed upon between the three countries to reach an agreement, and that this will be done during a period not significant, until we return to Washington in January 28 and 29, for technical and legal consultations linked to the development of the full formulas of the agreement to be signed in Washington later this month.
Shoukry added: “We look forward to this being the end of the day, and we always deal in good faith and with a high level of understanding from the other side, but we consider this a vital issue that must be dealt with sincerity and accuracy in order to protect the interests of the Egyptian people as well as the people of Sudan and Ethiopia equally.”
He thanked «Shukry» that «if we do not reach a final agreement, the effect of the articles related to the principles agreement remains valid, because it creates the obligation to reach an agreement and if this is not done, the article on resolving the conflict will be activated .. We have optimism that the sponsorship and participation of the United States and the World Bank in The preparatory period during the next two weeks to finalize the agreement and bring it to Washington will lead to achieving the desired goal.
The Foreign Minister pointed out that it was important to agree on a specific date for returning to the United States to reach and sign the final comprehensive agreement.
He pointed out that the Renaissance Dam negotiations took a long time, especially since the Agreement of Principles that took place on March 15, 2015 was laying a road map to reach a full and comprehensive agreement related to the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam, and it was expected to reach an agreement, especially since Egypt has confirmed on many occasions Its interest in Ethiopia obtaining the full benefits associated with the dam in terms of development and electricity generation, while seeking to assert Egypt’s water rights and the continued flow of water to both Egypt and Sudan on a regular basis and in a measure of cooperation, as this large project requires the cooperation of the downstream countries so that it can fill the private reservoir with it.
The minister added: “We are looking forward to the future, and I imagine that the recent meetings held in the three capitals and the Washington meetings contributed to the existence of a common ground on the general framework of the agreement .. We were hoping that this point would open areas of cooperation between the three countries and devote the ability to cooperate and work in a format that is in the interest of All countries of the region ».
The minister pointed out that during the Washington negotiations, the issue of asylum was not raised to a mediator other than the American mediator, whether from the three parties or the sponsoring parties, noting that the American sponsorship is care in order to listen to the points of view and provide a place for convening and capabilities, through support groups that have extensive experience A familiarity with the technical and legal dimensions was able to guide previous experiences, and what is circulating in the technical and legal scope to deal with such issues, and also facilitate communication between the three countries and determine the scope of consultation and dealing with them.
Regarding his other meetings in the United States, the Minister indicated that his meeting with Robert O’Brien, the US National Security Adviser, focused mainly on the special relationship between the United States and Egypt, its strategic nature and the political will available on both sides, to continue to develop and upgrade it and joint work to support stability in the region And the continuation of cooperation among them to achieve this purpose.