African Union endorses Egypt's bid for Security Council: FM

Ahram Online , Tuesday 27 Jan 2015

Egypt's FM is currently in Addis Ababa ahead of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's visit to Ethiopia to attend the African Union Summit

An image of the 17th African Union Summit held last year in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (Photo: Embassy of Equatorial Guinea)

The African Union will officially endorse Egypt's bid to become a non-permanent member at the UN Security Council for the period 2016 to 2017, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry announced on Tuesday.

This endorsement will be officially announced in the 24th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday.

Shoukry revealed that Cairo's bid has been approved during the meeting of the African foreign ministers on Tuesday, meaning that Egypt is the official North-African candidate for the non-permanent seat. 

Egypt first expressed its wish for a non-permanent seat last September, during President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's speech in front of the UN General Assembly.  

Egypt's foreign minister is currently in Addis Ababa ahead of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's visit to Ethiopia to attend the summit, MENA reported. The minister met his Ethiopian counterpart on Tuesday to discuss possible talking points for the meeting between the Egyptian president and Ethiopia's premier Hailemariam Desalegn. 

The visit to Ethiopia comes at a time when the two countries are trying to patch up their relationship after a few years of tensions over the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam.

The 6,000 megawatt dam is currently under construction on the Blue Nile, the Nile's most significant tributary. It is set to be Africa's largest, and is expected to be completed in 2017.

Egypt, a downstream country, fears that the dam will affect its water share from the Nile.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have set up a tripartite committee to solve the dispute over the dam. As recently as mid-January, Egypt called for reducing the dam's storage capacity, currently set at 74 billion cubic meters.

Diplomatic visits back and forth have been ongoing between the two countries, including visits to Egypt by Ethiopian parliamentarians and Ethiopia's Orthodox Coptic patriarch.

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