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Egyptian-Ethiopian dialogue continues

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Ethiopian delegation in Cairo to meet with Egyptian foreign ministry officials

A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony.  (AFP Photo)

A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony.
(AFP Photo)

An Ethiopian delegation will meet Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Ali Al-Hefni on Wednesday, according to a ministry statement released on Monday.

The statement announced that meeting, convened at the invitation of The Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, comes as part of developing bi-lateral relations in various fields including the academic field. The delegation includes both Ethiopian diplomats and academics.

State-run agency MENA reported that during its 3-day visit, the Ethiopian delegation, led by Sebhat Nega, the Executive Director of the Ethiopian International Institute for Peace and Development (EIIPD), will discuss with officials issues of mutual concern, as well as security issues faced on the African continent.

Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia Mohamed Idris said the delegation’s visit comes as part of the Embassy’s efforts to deal with bi-lateral relations comprehensively, he told MENA.

He added that the multiple, official, diplomatic and popular efforts that were made since the 2011 Revolution are what allowed the two countries to overcome the last crisis and start constructive dialogue.

A number of concerns have been raised by Egypt and Sudan, both downstream countries, regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam since the start of its construction in April 2011. In a ceremony in late May, the Ethiopian government began diverting waters from one of the Nile’s main tributaries, the Blue Nile.

Following his visits to Ethiopia last week, Amr addressed the Egyptian public with the message that Ethiopia has no intention in harming Egypt or Sudan. The Egyptian and Ethiopian foreign ministries said in a joint statement that Egypt and Sudan’s water security concerns and Ethiopia’s “developmental interests will be taken into consideration” when it comes to the dam.

Egypt has long received the largest share of the water from the Nile, as per agreements signed in 1929 and 1959, which guaranteed Egypt 55.5bn cubic metres of the estimated total of 84bn cubic metres of Nile water produced each year.

  • Berhan Bezabih

    Egypt has long received the largest share of the water from the Nile but from now the Africans should take there share

  • HayaT1

    For quite long time, successive Egyptian governments have been behaving as a colonial power by imposing their interests upon sovereign African nations.

    African nations are cognizantof the importance of the Nile River toward Egypt, but Egypt’s preceded governments have followed belligerent policies including approving or disapproving how the source of the Nile countries do. That exactly is reminiscent to the Eighteen century colonial powers hostile act and it is time to end it. The only way to move forward in utilizing the river has to be based on mutual interest in which every country benefits based on its circumstances. As water is the utmost essential for life, the brotherly people of Egypt will appreciate their African brothers including the people of Ethiopia for the uninterrupted gift of pure water and fertile soils for thousands of years.

    The importance of the Nile River suddenly came into the open as the result of the dam Ethiopia is building on the one of the tributaries of the river, inside in its territory. What was more puzzling is the aftermath melodrama plays observed inside the meeting that was held among the country’s political and civic leaders, including the president of the country. What has been said in that ill-reputed meeting should be considered as an insult against all Africans. Egyptian political leaders should stop their outmoded brouhahas and come to term by engaging their African brothers.

    The condescending suggestions, proposals and sabotages presented in that ill-famed meeting towards Ethiopia; a poor African country that replenishes 86% of their water need is uncalled for. In fact the Egyptian government should have asked an official apology to the people of Ethiopia for colluding to interfere in the affair of an independent country.

    It is sad to observe Egyptians feel entitlement in the affairs of sovereign nations – including to disdainfully say anything, or demand whatever in the 21st century.
    God/Allah Bless Africa
    Abelxyz and Hayati


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