Tag Archives: Egypt

Borrell encourages Millenium dam negociated solution

The dispute between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over exploitation of the Millenium Dam is a “matter of stablity” in the region, said the top EU diplomat Josep Borrell while commenting on the situation developing this week in the Horn of Africa.

“… We are following closely the talks, which were facilitated by the United States, and we regret they were not able to solve, or bring any kind of solution, but there are talks facilitated by the United States, and we are not part of this facilitating activity.

“We would be happy to participate if we are called for, but it is not the case, but we are ready to contribute to appease the situation, and to find a pragmatic solution”.

“I have been talking last week with all parties”, – Borrell continued. “And I strongly encourage them to continue the commonly agreed way forward”.

The diplomacy chief also announced plans to organise EU-Sudan partnership conference in Brussels together with Germany, the United Nations on June 22.

“It will be an opportunity for the international community to recall and renew their support to the ongoing political transition in Sudan” Borrell continued, expressing hope that there would be also “concrete pledges”.

Ethiopia Millenium Dam causes tensions

Government of Sudan rejected Ethiopia’s proposal to sign an initial agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and now expressed readiness to resume U.S.-led talks on the project.

According to a statement on May 12, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok sent a letter to his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed disapproving of an Addis Ababa proposal on an agreement over the dam’s first filling water, which is a crucial issue for agriculture in Sudan and Egypt, risking to lose up to 50% of arable land due to lack of irrigation.

Any signing of a partial agreement for the first filling could not be approved due to “technical and legal aspects that should be included in the agreement,” Hamdok said.

The agreement must incorporate a mechanism of coordination, an exchange of information and the safety of the dam and its environmental and social impacts, he insisted.

Prime minister of Sudan stressed that the path to reach a comprehensive agreement is an immediate resumption of negotiations which he underlined experienced a significant progress in the last four months.

Sudan believes that the current circumstances do not allow for talks through normal diplomatic channels, he said, in reference to the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that teleconferences are suitable means to complete negotiations and agree on outstanding issues.

Lead Sudanese negotiator Saleh Hamad said that most of the issues being negotiated are inextricably linked, not only to the first filling but to all phases of filling.

The statement on May 12 comes a day after Ethiopia announced it is to start filling its mega-dam in July, despite opposition from Egypt and Sudan as they stand by a 2015 declaration that stipulates an agreement on the guidelines governing the filling and annual operation of the dam should be reached.

Director of the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies Khaled Okasha said the Sudanese move brings the matter to its proper path, which relies on cooperation and negotiation.

Mr.Okasha explained that Ethiopia took advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to cancel all agreements, and according to point zero it was announced through its “populist” mechanisms that it pursued from the beginning.

Okasha has affirmed that the move by the Sudanese Prime Minister came after Ethiopia’s intentions to go on with the project solely without consulting with Khartoum and Cairo became clear, threatening the interests of both countries.

This is in addition to the dangers related to the safety requirements of the dam, which the Ethiopian side has been ignoring, constantly pushing for the filling stage with an aim to aid internal and political conflicts through the construction of the dam, completely disregarding the sovereignty and authentic rights of Egypt and Sudan.

He added that Ethiopia is also seeking from this to blame the issue on both Cairo and Khartoum, according to flawed and outdated Ethiopian theories that claim disagreements between Egypt and Sudan.

Okasha further stressed that the new Sudanese government is now correcting many of the faults of the previous regime, which had been performing in contradiction with the Sudanese national interests.

Neighbouring Sudan and Egypt dependent on Nile flow fear the dam will trap their essential water supplies once the giant reservoir starts being filled in July as planned.

Ethiopia hopes the massive $4.8 billion megaproject will allow it to become Africa’s largest power exporter.

The dispute is over the Millenium Dam being built on the Blue Nile. Ethiopia announced it will begin part filling it in July this year in order to test two turbines next year during the rainy season. The dam is 71% complete and when finished in 2023 will be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa providing much needed power to the second populous country on continent with 100 million inhabitants.

The reservoir will be able to hold more than 70 billion cubic metres (bcm) of water, but Egypt says if it operates according to Ethiopian intentions, 100 million Egyptians will then be deprived of much of their lifeline – the waters of the river.

COVID19: former Libya PM Jibril died

Libyan former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril died in the Egyptian capital Cairo from COVID-19 complications at the age of 68, al-Wasat news website reported on April 5.

Jibril actually died on Saturday late night, days after his infection with the novel coronavirus,” the source added.

The late Libyan official, whose death was officially announced on April 5, spent 10 days at an isolation hospital in Cairo before passing away, according to the diplomats.
Jibril was the head of the National Forces Alliance, a coalition of Libyan liberal parties formed in 2012, a year after the ouster and killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Egypt: Grand Museum opening postponed

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced postponement of the launch of mega-projects including the Grand Egyptian Museum and moving civil servants to a planned new capital city to 2021 from 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, the presidency said on April 4.

The new Museum had been due to open later this year, while the first group of civil servants was to be transferred to the government district in the new administrative capital in June.

Sisi’s government said it wishes to start running Egypt from the new city, 45 km (28 miles) east of Cairo, as soon as the middle of 2020. But the $58 billion project has struggled to raise funds and faced other challenges after some investors pulled out.

Egypt has confirmed more than 1,000 infections with the coronavirus. The authorities have taken measures to combat the epidemic, such as a nationwide nighttime curfew and the closure of tourism facilities.

Michel discusses Libya with Al-Sisi

Charles Michel, President of the European Council met with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, President of Egypt, in Cairo.

The crisis in Libya was at the core of their discussion. President Michel reiterated that a political process is the only way forward and the Libyans should be at the heart of defining their future. Both expressed support for the Berlin process and UN initiatives which are key to reaching a political solution.

MEPs condemn Egypt crackdown on protest

The European Parliament strongly condemns the latest state crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests, as well as the ongoing restrictions on fundamental rights in the country. Egyptian authorities have in the past weeks arbitrarily arrested over 4300 people who have been protesting against systemic corruption, repression and austerity measures, and have demanded the resignation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The European Parliament strongly condemns the latest state crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests, as well as the ongoing restrictions on fundamental rights in the country. Egyptian authorities have in the past weeks arbitrarily arrested over 4300 people who have been protesting against systemic corruption, repression and austerity measures, and have demanded the resignation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

MEPs call for an end to all acts of violence and intimidation, and the immediate release of all human rights defenders detained or sentenced for carrying out their legitimate work. They also express grave concern at the reprisals against those in Egypt who cooperate or seek to cooperate with international human rights organisations or the UN’s human rights bodies.

A profound review of the EU’s relations with Egypt is necessary, MEPs say. They argue that the human rights situation in the country requires a serious revision of the Commission’s budget support operations, which should be restricted to primarily support civil society. The full resolution, adopted by a show of hands, will be available here (24.10.2019).

MEPs call for an end to all acts of violence and intimidation, and the immediate release of all human rights defenders detained or sentenced for carrying out their legitimate work. They also express grave concern at the reprisals against those in Egypt who cooperate or seek to cooperate with international human rights organisations or the UN’s human rights bodies.

A profound review of the EU’s relations with Egypt is necessary, MEPs say. They argue that the human rights situation in the country requires a serious revision of the Commission’s budget support operations, which should be restricted to primarily support civil society. The full resolution, adopted by a show of hands, will be available here (24.10.2019).

EU stands by Egypt to defeat terrorism

“The European Union expresses its deepest condolences to the victims and their families and wishes a prompt recovery to those wounded in this act of terror”, the European External Action Service spokesperson said, reacting upon a car bomb explosion in Cairo on August 4, which has left at least 20 people dead, and many injured.

“The European Union stands side by side with Egypt in its efforts to defeat terrorism in the country”.

An explosion in Cairo was terrorist-related, Egypt‘s president Al Sisi said.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the Egyptian people and the families of the martyrs killed in the cowardly terrorist incident in the vicinity of the Kasr al-Aini area yesterday evening,” he wrote in his official social media account, paying tribute to victims.

Finnish minister Sudan mission

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Pekka Haavisto will visit Sudan and several countries of the Red Sea and broader region over the course of the next weeks to discuss the situation in Sudan. He has received a mandate from the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini to reach out, on behalf of the European Union, on both the situation in the country and on how the international community can accompany Sudan on its transition path.

During his visits, Minister Haavisto will convey the European Union’s position on Sudan as agreed by the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 June to the different authorities and stakeholders and will then report to the 28 Member States in the Foreign Affairs Council upon his return.

The Minister’s visit to Sudan as well as Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates follows the recent announcement of an agreement between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change on a civilian-led transition in Sudan.

The European Union remains fully engaged on the situation in Sudan, standing by the Sudanese parties who reached an agreement as well as calling on regional and international actors to play a constructive role in this context. Thanks to his experience in the region, in particular in Sudan with both the EU and the UN, Minister Haavisto will explore how the EU can best support Sudan in its path towards democracy, respect for human rights and stability,” said Federica Mogherini.

“This visit comes at an important juncture; an agreement has been reached between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change in Sudan. I wish to sincerely thank the African Union/Ethiopian mediation for their efforts. I will convey EU’s strong messages of support and encourage both sides to continue negotiations in order to solve the still outstanding issues and allow for a swift transfer of power to a civilian government. It is crucial to quickly restore peace, guarantee prosperity, economic recovery, security, democracy and respect of human rights,” said Pekka Haavisto.

On July, 10 Minister Haavisto will be in Addis Abeba meeting Ethiopian authorities as well as the key figures of the African Union. On 11 July, the Minister will meet both the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change as well as other Sudanese interlocutors. On 16-18 July, Minister Haavisto will visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Minister Haavisto has extensive knowledge on Sudan having been the EU Special Representative for Sudan and Darfur in 2005-2007 as well as the Special Advisor for the UN Assistant Secretary-General in Darfur Peace Process in 2007.

Egypt undertakes counter-terrorist raid

Egypt authorities accuse Hasm group ( Arabicحسم‎), which emerged in 2016, deriving from the of the banned Muslim Brotherhood. The oldest Islamist movement of Egypt denies the allegations and insists it seeks change through peaceful means only.

The Interior ministry said in a statement announced by state TV channels that its national security forces had information that leaders of the armed Hasm group were planning “to carry out a series of attacks during the coming period to trigger chaos in the country“.

The statement did not indicate whether the suspected fighters were connected to Sunday’s #Giza attack, but informed the Egyptian forces killed them during raids. There were no further details on the operation, but a clarification on weapons and explosives found at the site.

An explosion targeting a bus with tourists, sightseeing in Giza has injured at least 14 people near the Grand Egyptian Museum, next to the pyramids.

Egypt: Giza tourist bus explosion

A device went off close to the Giza Grand Museum fence as the bus was passing.

It is not yet known who was behind the bombing but Islamist militants have attacked tourists in Egypt in the past.

According to SkyNews there was a group of South African tourists and local guides, some of them are injured.

In December, three tourists from Vietnam and a local tour guide were killed after a roadside bomb hit their bus.

 

 

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