Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi received on Tuesday a phone call from his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta, where the two leaders exchanged views on the latest developments of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) after the Washington-mediated talks stalled last month.
Kenyatta expressed Kenya’s support to Egypt’s “positive stance” on the disputed GERD, according to the Egyptian presidency spokesperson, saying it came out of “good will.”
For his part, Al-Sisi appreciated Kenya’s support for the Egyptian position regarding the GERD dispute.
On bilateral relations, the Kenyan President lauded the ongoing progress in the two countries’ relations across various areas. He expressed his profound admiration for Egypt, its people, and leadership.
Tensions between Cairo and Addis Ababa escalated recently after Ethiopia did not attend the last US-sponsored meeting with Egypt and Sudan in Washington to sign the final agreement over the rules of filling and operating the GERD. The agreement, which was drafted by the US, was initiated by Egypt, but not signed by Sudan or Ethiopia.
Also on Tuesday, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza to deliver a message from President Al-Sisi on the GERD.
The move adds to recent diplomatic efforts by Egypt to draw international attention to the dam issue. Shoukry’s visit to Burundi comes as a part of an African tour which also includes South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Niger, and Rwanda.
Over the past weeks, Egypt sent similar letters to the Gulf and European partners to seek support in the case.
The Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for African Affairs visited Djibouti and Somalia to meet the leaders of the two countries and explain the Egyptian position regarding the GERD.
While Egypt’s diplomatic efforts are ongoing to preserve its water rights, the parliament called on the government to boycott companies participating in the construction of GERD.
A session was expected to be held on Tuesday, but was postponed as the parliament building will be sterilised amid precautionary measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus.