Egypt President to visit Ethiopia within 2 weeks

Relations between Cairo and Addis Ababa soured last year over Ethiopia's construction of a $6.4-billion hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile

Egypt President to visit Ethiopia within 2 weeks

World Bulletin/News Desk

Newly-inaugurated Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will visit Ethiopia within the coming two weeks, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said Thursday.

"President al-Sisi will visit Ethiopia and meet with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn for talks on bilateral relations and the Renaissance Dam, among other issues," Adhanom told Ethiopia's official news agency.

The Egyptian government, for its part, has yet to confirm al-Sisi's visit to Ethiopia.

Relations between Cairo and Addis Ababa soured last year over Ethiopia's construction of a $6.4-billion hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile. The project has raised alarm bells in Egypt, which relies on the river for almost all its water needs.

Water distribution among Nile Basin states has long been regulated by a colonial-era treaty – which Ethiopia says it has never acknowledged – that gives Egypt and Sudan the lion's share of river water.

During his inauguration speech on Sunday, al-Sisi said he would not allow the dam's construction to adversely affect Egypt's relations with Ethiopia or other African countries – a gesture that was welcomed by Addis Ababa.

Adhanom described al-Sisi's statements as a "turning point" in Egypt's position.

He went on to say that an Ethiopian delegation – consisting of lawmakers and representatives of religious institutions, media outlets and the private sector – would soon visit Egypt.

"The move [dispatching the delegation] aims to boost relations between the Egyptian and Ethiopian people," Adhanom said. "We expect the visit will help boost diplomatic relations with Egypt."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Haziran 2014, 15:43
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