US, EU diplomats meet Mehleb before heading to Ethiopia

Hend Kortam
2 Min Read
Severe electricity and water shortages, alongside growing slums, constitute “enemies” the government must fight, said Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Egypt’s Cabinet)
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb (Photo courtesy of Egypt’s Cabinet)
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb
(Photo courtesy of Egypt’s Cabinet)

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb met with United States and European Union special representatives on Sunday, after the diplomats discussed the Nile Water issue with Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.

The meeting with Mehleb also came after the diplomats, EU Special Representative to the Horn of Africa Alexander Rondos and Special Coordinator for Water Resources at the US Department of State Aaron Salzberg held talks with former presidential candidate and head of the Constituent Assembly Amr Moussa.

Moussa said that Egypt has “historic ties with Ethiopia”, a statement from his office said. Ahmed Kamel, from Moussa’s office, said that the diplomats’ next stop was Ethiopia. Moussa and the diplomats discussed the importance of “building bridges of trust and communication… for the common interests of the two countries”.

Ethiopia began constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in April 2011. Egypt is concerned about the effect of the dam on its share of Nile water. In 2013, a set of recommendations were released in the final report by the International Panel of Experts (IPOE). There have been further disagreements between Egypt and Ethiopia as to how they should be implemented.

Moussa, who stressed that he does not speak on behalf of the country, said Egypt backs development in Ethiopia, as long as Egypt receives its share of Nile Water.

Fahmy had said in an earlier meeting that Egypt is ready for “serious negotiations” over the Nile issue. A similar discourse was issued by Ethiopia last week when Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom said Ethiopia is “committed to genuine negotiations with Egypt”.

The diplomats’ meeting and visits to various countries come within the context of regular talks they hold in the region. This is not the first time they are in the same country, since their mandates regularly coincide.

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