MP Diaa Dawood accuses UAE of betraying Egypt in GERD crisis

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The plenary session of the Egyptian House of Representatives witnessed a verbal altercation regarding the role of the UAE in financing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is disputed with Ethiopia.

During the session, Member of Parliament Diaa El-Din Dawood accused the UAE of being involved in financing the GERD, despite the close relations between Cairo and Abu Dhabi on many issues.

The MP warned of the repercussions of offering state-owned assets such as the Suez Canal or the High Dam in the form of Sukuk, following his and others’ rejection of the sovereign Sukuk bill submitted by the government. Dawood added that there are Arab countries that are allies, like a Gulf state known to all (referring to the UAE) and at the same time finance the Renaissance Dam, which harms Egypt’s water rights in the Nile River.

MP Mustafa Bakri commented on Dawood’s speech by saying that you gave signals that I did not wish to hear under the dome of parliament – that an Arab country was involved in financing the Renaissance Dam. Bakri claimed that many Arab countries supported Egypt in the Ethiopian dam crisis and told MP Diaa Dawood that the country I referred to, the UAE, stands with us in the same trench. Bakri added: “It is not correct to make arbitrary accusations against any Arab country without a basis or evidence because this offends us all.”

Dawood tried to respond to his speech and Parliament Speaker Hanafi Jabali intervened to break up the verbal altercation between them, saying: “The matter is over, and these words were deleted from the minutes of the session.”

There are unofficial Egyptian accusations against the UAE of financing the Renaissance Dam and supporting Addis Ababa in its position on the crisis amid leaks about large Emirati investments in the dam, which harms Egypt’s interests. Ethiopia insists on a second filling, even if it does not reach an agreement on the dam, which is located on the Blue Nile, the main tributary of the Nile.