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Senegal says finding radical solution to GERD crisis to top priorities of its African Union presidency in 2022
Published in Ahram Online on 10 - 07 - 2021

Senegal's President Macky Sall said finding a radical solution to the GERD crisis between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will be on top of the African Union's (AU) priorities in 2022 during his country's presidency of the grouping.
At a meeting with Egypt's Trade Minister Nevine Gamea in Dakar on Saturday, Sall voiced Senegal's full support to the Egyptian people's eternal rights to the Nile River and the Senegalese endeavour to highlight this support in the events related to the AU and the UN, a statement by the Egyptian trade ministry read.
Sall noted that prioritizing a radical solution to the GERD crisis aims to preserve the historic rights of the Egyptian people, affirming that this is the right approach that all parties have to stick to.
Rounds of African Union-sponsored talks have reached a deadlock under the presidency of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2020 and incumbent chair Antoine Tshisekedi of DR Congo.
The two downstream countries have blamed the failure of talks on Ethiopia's intransigence and desire to impose fait accompli.
As per the request of Egypt and Sudan, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held a session on Thursday to discuss GERD. The two countries affirmed that their movements in the UNSC aim to enhance the African track to resume the negotiations and reach a binding solution.
Despite the concerns and objections of the two downstream countries, Ethiopia notified them last week that it started the second phase of filling the mega dam without a legally-binding agreement, a step that was highly condemned by Egypt and Sudan.
Gamea, Egypt's trade minister, delivered a message from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to Sall, hailing the level of coordination and continuous communication between the two countries around regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Sisi, in the message, expressed Egypt's aspiration to work with Senegal to enhance the bilateral relations in various fields with the aim of achieving prosperity of the two countries' peoples, Gamea said.
Sisi's message affirmed Egypt's aspiration that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect in January, would boost trade exchange between Egypt and the continental states in general and Senegal in particular.
Sall expressed appreciation of the special relations gathering Egypt and Senegal and the friendship between the leadership of the two countries.
Sall said he looks for fostering the joint work with Egypt to push forward their bilateral relations into broader prospects during the coming period, especially in the economic field.
The Senegalese president underscored his country's aspiration to enhance economic partnership with Egypt and benefit from the great Egyptian experience in numerous development and economic fields as well as the health care field especially the treatment of Hepatitis C Virus patients.
He also called for enhancing trade exchange and joint investments between the two countries' private sectors.
Sall affirmed his preparedness to coordinate with the Egyptian side to launch direct sea and air navigation routes and cancel the need for entry visas to facilitate the entry of their investors to each of the two countries.

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