Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Ethiopian counterpart Tedros Adhanom discussed in a telephone conversation on Tuesday evening developments in bilateral relations between the two countries.
During the telephone conversation, they also discussed the fourth round of the Joint Egyptian-Ethiopian Ministerial Committee to be held in Addis Ababa from 1 to 3 November.
In a foreign ministry statement on Wednesday, the two ministers discussed preparations for the round to achieve the desired results and to push the bilateral relations to new horizons in various fields. These cover, in particular political, economic, commercial and technical sectors, to achieve the interests of the two countries and remove any obstacles in the face of such progress, the statement said.
On the sidelines of the meetings, an Egyptian-Ethiopian joint Business Forum session will be held with the participation of private sector representatives from the two countries.
Egypt and Ethiopia have been locked in a diplomatic dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) since 2013. Egypt fears the dam will have a detrimental effect on its share of Nile water, as downstream countries Egypt and Sudan now receive the majority of the river’s water.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met in June on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Malabo. The two countries later announced their decision to form a joint committee within three months to streamline discussions on the GERD project, currently under construction.
Egyptian Minister for Irrigation and Water Resources Hossam El-Moghazy said on Sunday the contract for an international consulting firm to study the impacts of the dam will be signed on 16 December.
The fourth round of the Joint Egyptian-Ethiopian Ministerial Committee follows the trilateral meeting of the Ministers of Water Resources for Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia held in Cairo last August. The talks between the trio were described as “honest consultations” and ended with agreements. Previous tripartite talks had failed.