Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed commitment to the success of negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) under Washington’s sponsorship, a statement by the presidency read on Saturday.
Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said El-Sisi received Hailemariam Desalegn, special envoy to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and former prime minister in Cairo.
El-Sisi said that a near agreement between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the filling and operation of GERD would secure a balance between all involved parties.
He added that the agreement would open new aspects for cooperation, coordination and development between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.
“Such a step would mark a new stage towards developing joint relations between the three countries… and a positive and developmental yields on the Nile Basin area,” the statement quoted El-Sisi as saying.
El-Sisi affirmed Egypt’s fundamental policy on the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in domestic affairs.
Desalegn delivered a message from Ethiopian PM Ahmed, where he expressed his interest in boosting bilateral relations and friendship with Egypt.
Ahmed also praised Egypt’s chairmanship of the African Union in 2019, according to the statement, which also reported that Desalegn presented updates on GERD in light of talks between the three countries.
The visit by the Ethiopian official to Cairo comes a few days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to Addis Ababa that it could take "months" to resolve the dispute between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the dam.
Earlier this month, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan agreed to entrust the US and the World Bank with the preparation of the final agreement on the filling and operation of the Ethiopian dam.
The agreement is expected to be signed by the end of the month, according to a statement by the three countries, the US and WB earlier this month.
Tensions have been building between Egypt and Ethiopia in recent months after talks on the technical details governing the operation of the dam had failed to make progress.
Ethiopia hopes that the massive $4.8 billion project on the Blue Nile, which has been under construction since 2011, will allow it to become Africa’s largest power exporter.