Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday warned of repercussions of Ethiopia's unilateral steps amid a decades-long dispute regarding a controversial dam project on the Nile River.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Cairo with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, al-Sisi said he agreed with his Somali counterpart on the gravity of unilateral steps in the file of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
“Cooperation between riparian countries is important to avoid harms,” he stressed.
Al-Sisi said his talks with the Somali president dwelt on regional developments in the Horn of Africa region.
“We agreed to work together to maintain security and stability in this important and strategic region,” he added.
The Egyptian leader said he also agreed with his Somali counterpart to intensify coordination between Egypt and Somalia regarding security in the Red Sea.
Sheikh Mohamud started an official visit to Egypt on Sunday, his seventh overseas visit since he became president in May.
Egypt views the GERD as an existential threat to its water share from the Nile, the country’s only source of freshwater. Egypt and Sudan, two downstream nations, want a legally-binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD, a demand resisted by Ethiopia.
Years-long negotiations between the three countries have failed to make any breakthrough.
Last year, the UN Security Council called on Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to resume the African Union-led negotiations to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam “within a reasonable time frame.”
Ethiopia has started carrying out a third-stage filling of the dam this month despite opposition from Egypt and Sudan.