Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi with Sudan's President Omar Al-Bashir (L) and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desaleg (R) (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Presidency)
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed on Saturday on cooperation means between the three countries in various fields, a statement by the Egyptian presidency read.
According to presidency spokesman Alaa Youssef, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn agreed on the importance of bolstering cooperation strategies built on trust, mutual respect and a meeting the ambitions of nations in facing common challenges
In a summit meeting during the African Investment Conference in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh, El-Sisi, Al-Bashir and Desalegn reasserted their commitment to strengthening cooperation and building on common interests through solutions that achieve mutual gains for the three countries.
The three leaders agreed on mandating that the foreign ministers of the three countries study ways of establishing an institutional framework for cooperation.
They also agreed on the establishment of a co-financing fund to be used to execute developmental projects in the three countries.
They decided on the formation of three committees: political, economic and cultural, where the political affairs committee coordinates the workings of the three committees in fields including communications, technology, scientific research, agriculture, tourism and culture.
Other fields of cooperation would include intelligence and security cooperation, and the exchange of information, especially in fighting terrorism, and collaboration in the fields of military and security training.
They also agreed on encouraging joint parliamentary meetings in the three countries' parliaments, which would contribute to deepening mutual understanding on a public level.
The leaders also agreed on holding yearly talks at the summit level, while looking at the suggestions on cooperation mechanism in their next meeting after six months.
The summit meeting between the three leaders was planned following talks held during a security conference in Munich between Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry and his Ethiopian counterpart over Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam.
On Friday, Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Hossam Moghazi said the country's state council has approved a finalised draft of the contract to be signed with French consultancy firms responsible for studies related to the impact of the Ethiopian Dam.
Moghazi added that both Ethiopia and Sudan have been officially informed of Cairo's readiness to sign the contract in the upcoming days.
“Consultations are under way between the water ministers of the three countries to set a date to sign the contract before the end of February,” Moghazi said in a press release.
Although Egypt has repeatedly expressed concern over the dam's possible effect on the country, Ethiopia insists it will not negatively affect Egypt's share of Nile water.