26 July 2019
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo on Thursday, Chinese news source Xinhua reported.
Gedu reportedly expressed Ethiopia’s enthusiasm in strengthening bilateral relations with Egypt and the commitment to resume negotiations on Ethiopia’s mega project, the renaissance dam.
One of the state-affiliated media in Ethiopia, Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC), reported that Gedu seized the opportunity of his working visit to Cairo to meet with his staff at the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo but the report did not disclose as to what was the meeting agenda between the embassy staff and Foreign Minister Gedu.
Gedu also delivered a message from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed which is said to have emphasized in the relations between the two countries and also negotiation on GERD.
According to Middle East News Agency news, Abiy Ahmed expressed Ethiopia’s resolve to resume tripartite talks on Renaissance Dam – which is expected to focus on the implementation of the declaration of principles regarding water fills and operation of Ethiopia’s Mega Dam Project.
Abiy also reportedly said, in his message to the president, that Ethiopia places great importance to developing bilateral relations with Egypt in a range of areas. As well, he encouraged Egyptian investment in Ethiopia.
President Al-Sisi on this part reportedly sent greetings to Abiy Ahmed and expressed “hope for promoting various aspects of bilateral partnership between both sides.”
Egypt has been pushing for the resumption of tripartite talks on Dam for a long time.
In late June, Gedu Andargachew met with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukri, in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of a meeting of regional partners of Sudan.
Egypt has a concern that the dam will affect the flow of the Nile river water to Egypt, over 86 percent of which originates from Ethiopia, while Sudan seems to see a benefit from the Dam.
Ethiopia was unable to continue the negotiation seemingly because of emerging priorities of domestic issues. Last month, for example, Ethiopia was dealing with what government called “attempted coup d’état” which claimed the lives of over five regional and federal government authorities including Chief of staff of the defense force, Seare Mekonnen.