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Visit by Ethiopia's Orthodox Church head to Cairo postponed

A planned visit by the head of Ethiopia's Orthodox Tewahedo Church to Cairo is postponed while officials scrabble for a diplomatic compromise on Ethiopia's contentious Renaissance Dam project

Ahram Online , Thursday 13 Jun 2013
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A planned visit by the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church to Cairo has been postponed, Al-Ahram Arabic news website has reported.

The Ethiopian church leader was scheduled to arrive in Egypt 17 June for a four-day visit to look at means of tackling the ongoing stalemate over Ethiopia's controversial Renaissance Dam project.

Egypt sounded the alarm two weeks ago when Ethiopia began diverting a stretch of the Blue Nile in preparation for the construction of a $4.7 billion hydroelectric dam.

Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II met with Egyptian church representatives last Tuesday to discuss the Nile River issue in advance of the scheduled trip by the Ethiopian official.

Meanwhile, Egypt's foreign minister, Mohamed Kamel, who has said he will give up "not a single drop of (Nile) water," is due to visit Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa in a few days, confirmed cabinet spokesman Alaa Al-Hadidy Wednesday. 

The visit will entail talks with Ethiopian officials over the country's proposed mega dam on the Blue Nile, a project that has sparked Egyptian concerns over its share of Nile waters.

The two sides are pursuing a diplomatic compromise over what would be the largest hydro electric plant on the African continent.

Nile riparian countries have argued over the use of Nile waters for decades. Some analysts fear these disputes could boil over into war.

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