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Egypt FM, EU foreign policy chief exchange views on Palestinian cause, GERD dispute
Published in Ahram Online on 13 - 07 - 2021

In a meeting on Tuesday, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell tackled the latest developments in several issues of mutual concerns, including the Palestinian cause and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute.
Shoukry and Borrell exchanged points of view regarding means of pushing forward peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis, as well as efforts to reconstruct Gaza and support the Palestinian economy.
Egypt mediated a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in May, ending 11 days of military operations in the Gaza Strip that caused devastation in the enclave. Egypt has also allocated $500 million for reconstruction in Gaza.
Cairo seeks to revive the long-frozen peace talks to end the decades-old conflict by reaching a two-state solution and establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital based on 1967 borders.
As for the GERD dispute, Egypt seeks to reach a binding deal over the filling and operation of the dam built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, a crucial source of water for Egyptians.
Throughout the decade-long negotiations, Ethiopia – which says the project is important for its development goals – has evaded a legally binding deal and only sought "guidelines" that could be modified at any time at its discretion.
Tuesday's meeting also dealt with the situation in Libya and efforts aimed at combating illegal immigration, said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez.
During the meeting, Shoukry presented the Egyptian vision for solving these regional issues and restoring stability in order to achieve prosperity in the region, according to Hafez.
Both officials emphasized the importance of pursuing all aspects of cooperation to promote the "strategic" relations between Egypt and the EU in light of the shared challenges at the regional and international levels.
Minister Shoukry, who arrived in Brussels on Sunday on an official visit, has met with several officials over the past two days.

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