Egypt's FM to travel Ethiopia before Renaissance dam talks

Ahram Online, Saturday 23 Aug 2014

Egypt's foreign minister is keen to visit Ethiopia before tripartite committee talks

Sameh Shoukry
Egypt's newly appointed Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s Foreign Affairs minister, Sameh Shoukry, has called his Ethiopian counterpart, Tedros Adhanom, late Friday in light of the upcoming discussions of the tripartite committee that will take place 26 August in Sudan's main capital, state news agency MENA reported.

During the phone call, Shoukry stressed the importance of positive talks that will lead to solutions that suit all parties.

Meanwhile, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson, Badr Abdel-Aty, told MENA that Shoukry is keen to visit Ethiopia before the tripartite committee talks to discuss bilateral relations and renaissance dam issues.

The committee meeting is considered a sign of progress after a series of talks last year reached a stalemate.

The talks revolve around the planned Grand Renaissance Dam, a LE29.4 billion ($4.2 billion) hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, one of the main tributaries of the Nile.

The project has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government since May 2013, when images of the dam's construction stirred public anxiety about the possible effect on Egypt's potable water supply.

Ethiopia maintains that Egypt's water share will not be negatively affected by the successful completion of the project. Egypt, on the other hand, has questioned this.

On 29 July, Egypt's State Information Service published a statement revealing that Egypt approved Ethiopia's request to postpone the tripartite talks by one week. The talks were initially scheduled for mid-August.

The talks had also been initially planned for Cairo, but have moved to Khartoum.

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