An Ethiopian "people's delegation" arrived in Cairo on Tuesday to meet with diplomats, religious figures, university professors and journalists, according to an Egyptian foreign ministry statement.
Headed by the speaker of the Ethiopian parliament Abdulla Gemeda, the envoy will meet Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Thursday and Azhar’s Grand Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb on Wednesday.
The group will hold meetings with the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs and the Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies.
In recent years, relations between the two countries became strained amid Egyptian concerns about the possible effects of a dam under construction on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. The Blue Nile is the largest tributary of the Nile, on which Egypt depends for the vast majority of its water. Cairo is concerned that Ethiopia's $4.2 billion dam project, which the Ethiopian government says is now 40 percent complete, could have an adverse effect on its water supply. However, recent diplomatic efforts appear to reduced tensions.
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia were expected to consider international firm offers to conduct studies on the Grand Renaissance Dam on 4 December, but it was extended to mid-December following a request by several firms.