After meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, U.S. President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a shared document on July 16 in which the U.S. reaffirmed its commitment to support the strategic partnership between Washington and Cairo on shared defense.
In the document, President Biden reiterated U.S. support for Egypt on the issue of Nile water security, with particular reference to the issue of the GERD dam in Ethiopia, calling for a diplomatic solution in the interest of all parties concerned. Biden and Sisi agreed on the need to reach an agreement on the management of the dam and how to fill the reservoir, in the wake of the UN Security Council President’s September 15, 2021, and international law (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/07/16/joint-statement-following-meeting-between-president-biden-and-egyptian-president-abdel-fattah-al-sisi-in-jeddah/).
The announcement of the shared U.S.-Egyptian document was issued as Ethiopia is set to take advantage of the rainy season to proceed with the third phase of filling the reservoir of the GERD dam, which will take a total of seven years to complete.
Talks between Ethiopia and Egypt on the dam issue have been at a standstill since 2020, while the functionality of the hydropower plants and turbines was started last Feb. 21, according to an activity development schedule that Ethiopia does not intend to halt or delay (https://african.business/2022/07/energy-resources/biden-supports-egypts-water-security-as-ethiopia-prepares-third-filling-of-gerd/).
The imminence of a rekindling of U.S.-Egyptian relations on the GERD issue had been announced on July 12 by U.S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, who, during an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm, had reaffirmed the issue’s centrality to Washington’s interests, anticipating how President Biden’s trip to the Middle East would be an important opportunity to address the issue (https://egyptindependent.com/washington-must-play-more-active-role-in-gerd-exclusive-interview-with-us-congressman-dutch-ruppersberger/).