In a statement issued on Monday, the Egyptian parliament’s foreign affairs committee said it would hold an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which poses a threat to Egypt’s annual quota of Nile water.
Karim Hassan, head of the committee, said the meeting will also discuss the necessity of Egypt taking measures against contracting companies participating in the building of the GERD.
“This is part of Egypt’s current efforts aimed at safeguarding its water security and preserving Egypt’s rights in the Nile water,” said Hassan, adding that “MPs who asked for holding this urgent meeting recommend that the government take measures against international contracting companies participating in the building of the GERD.”
“These companies have interests and contracts in Egypt,” said Hassan, adding that “we recommend the government suspend all contracts with these companies and stop any deals with them in the future.”
Some members of the committee also recommend that the government consult with the World Bank and other international lending institutions to stop any deals with Ethiopia until it signs the GERD agreement brokered by the US in Washington last Month.
Egypt initialed the agreement during Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s visit to Washington last month and after four months of negotiations. Ethiopia refused to attend the Washington meetings on 27 and 28 February, saying it would need first to make national consultations before it signs the agreement.
On 28 February, US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement that the four-month talks resulted in an agreement that addresses all issues on the GERD in a balanced and equitable manner, taking into account the interests of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.
“We appreciate the readiness of the government to sign the agreement and its initialling of the agreement to evidence its commitment, and we recognise that Ethiopia continues its national consultations, and look forward to its concluding its process as soon as possible,” said Mnuchin, adding that the “filling of GERD should not take place without an agreement, and the US reaffirms its commitment to remaining engaged with the three countries until they sign the final agreement.”