Egypt's newly appointed Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom called his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday and affirmed his commitment to a mutually satisfactory agreement over the use of the Nile's water.
Adhanom spoke by telephone to Shoukry, who was sworn in earlier on Tuesday as part of a partial cabinet reshuffle following the inauguration of new President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, to "congratulate him on his appointment," the senior Ethiopian diplomat said on his official Facebook page.
The Ethiopian minister also congratulated him on the African Union's decision to end Egypt's suspension from the 54-nation bloc that was imposed last July over what the grouping deemed an “unconstitutional” change of government. The move came in the aftermath of the military's ouster of elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi amid massive protests against him.
In his call, Adhanom expressed "commitment to a win-win solution over the use of the Nile" as Cairo has repeatedly voiced alarm over Addis Ababa's construction of a giant multi-billion dollar hydroelectric dam on the river, Egypt's main source of potable water.
Egypt's foreign ministry also reported the call in a statement late on Tuesday.
Both diplomats discussed the development of bilateral relations, with the Ethiopian diplomat expressing interest in bolstering ties with Cairo, the ministry said in the statement.
Egypt and Ethiopia will engage next week in an African Union summit meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, which Adhanom said will constitute "the start" of a "new era" of cooperation between the two African countries.
Both countries will reactivate a tripartite dialogue initiative, which also includes Sudan, after rounds of failed meetings to discuss the construction of the Renaissance Dam project, now over 30 percent complete.