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Egypt holds talks with France about Renaissance Dam, Sahel and Sahara

February 2, 2023 at 2:30 pm

French President Emmanuel Macron and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hold a press conference. (Photo by Michel Euler / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MICHEL EULER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Senior Egyptian officials held discussions about the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam with French officials on Wednesday, and accused the Ethiopians of being the cause of the current deadlock in the negotiations. The Egypt-France talks were part of the third round of periodic bilateral discussions on African issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo.

“The discussions focused on a number of issues of interest to both sides,” explained the ministry. “Views were exchanged on water management issues in Africa, and the Egyptian vision on the issue of the Renaissance Dam was reviewed, along with the current deadlock in negotiations with the Ethiopians.” The Egyptians insist that this is an existential priority because the issue of water from the River Nile affects the lives of everyone in Egypt.

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Ways to enhance cooperation in the African continent in light of the pivotal role of Egypt in preserving the security and stability of its regional environment were also on the agenda, as was the special attention that Egypt gives to the needs of the continent. “The French vision of successive developments and changes in the security situation in the countries of the Sahel, the Sahara and the Horn of Africa were also presented.”

Moreover, the importance of continuing cooperation with Europe, including France, to implement the outcomes of the African-European Summit held in Brussels last February was addressed, confirmed the ministry. “The talks focused on the implementation of the EU initiative for the Global Gateway and the projects to link the continent. This includes the Cairo-Kampala project, with emphasis on the need for these initiatives to be subject to African discussion, so that their implementation reflects the interests of all African countries.”

The foreign ministry statement concluded by stressing how important it is to continue cooperation between Egypt and France regarding climate issues. Egypt, of course, hosted the COP 27 conference in Sharm El-Sheikh last November.

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