Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi expressed confidence on Saturday in the African Union’s (AU) efforts aimed at reaching an agreement on the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Sisi made the remarks during the two-day virtual 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU, which kicked off on Saturday, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.
The assembly is anticipated to deliberate and consider the report on the institutional reform of the AU, report on the progress of the AU response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, as well as elections and appointments of the leadership of the AU Commission.
During the summit, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will officially take over the rotating chair of the continental bloc from the outgoing chair South Africa, according to the AU.
Addressing the summit, Sisi said he is confident that the AU, under the leadership of the DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, will contribute to pushing forward the efforts to reach the desired agreement in a manner that takes into account the interests of the parties concerned and preserves Egypt’s Nile water rights.
Sisi also thanked the outgoing chair of the AU, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, for his efforts within the framework of sponsoring the tripartite negotiations seeking a “comprehensive, fair and binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD.”
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been negotiating under the mediation of the AU over technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.