Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Monday in Ethiopia that Egypt has restored normal relations with its international partners after a difficult period of transition.
Shoukry met with his Ethiopian counterpart for a fifth-session of joint talks as part of an overall effort to relax relations after a row over Ethopia's controversial Grand Renaissance dam. Before leaving, he told reporters that the visit is part of Egypt's overall drive to mend its relations with its partners.
He added, according to Al-Ahram's daily newspaper, that Egypt achieved a great deal of stability and has taken steps laid out in its roadmap in July 2013.
Egypt has passed a new constitution and elected former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as president, the remaining step is to hold parliamentary elections.
After the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July, authorities cracked down on protests by his supporters, killing hundreds and jailing thousands in the process using a controversial and strict protest law.
In his statement Shoukry defended the protest law which gives police the right to ban demonstrations at will, insisting it was studied and drawn up with reference to legislation from many countries.
Despite previous comments by Egyptian officials saying the law would be amended, Shoukry said it may be revised by Egypt's incoming parliament – of which the date for polls has not been set yet.
El-Sisi made similar comments in statements to European Parliament members on Saturday, adding that protests must be regulated and not allowed to turn violent.
In a response to a question about the tripartite committee’s report on the effects Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance dam on Egypt’s share of Nile water, Shoukry said he is committed to abiding by the report’s recommendations.
The committee is neutral, Shoukry said, and includes capable international experts.
In contrast, he said if negative effects were outlined by the report – expected to be issued within five months – Ethiopia and Sudan must remove them.
"It doesn't necessarily mean the construction must be overturned but may relate to the way it is operated," Shoukry said according to Al-Ahram.