Africa Ethiopian public diplomacy delegation arrives in Egypt

Ethiopian public diplomacy delegation arrives in Egypt

Parliament Speaker Abadula Gemeda
Parliament Speaker Abadula Gemeda

(AA) – An Ethiopian public diplomacy delegation arrived in Cairo early Tuesday as part of effort to ease tension between Ethiopia and Egypt over a controversial dam being built by Addis Ababa on the Nile River.

“Led by Parliament Speaker Abadula Gemeda, the delegation arrived in Cairo aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane,” a source at Cairo International Airport told The Anadolu Agency.

The 70-strong delegation – which is expected to stay in Egypt for four days – includes politicians, clergymen, media people and professors.

Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Dina Mufti said Friday that the visit of the delegation aims to send a “message to various sectors of Egyptian community that the Nile is our common resource.”

Ethiopia and Egypt are in the middle of diplomatic rapprochement to narrow their differences over the construction of a multi-billion hydroelectric dam on the Nile.

The two countries agreed to resume tripartite talks – which also included downstream country Sudan – after Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met in Equatorial Guinea in June.

Meetings of a tripartite technical committee, set up in 2011, resumed in August after an eight-month hiatus due to ongoing differences between Cairo and Addis Ababa.

In September, the tripartite committee decided to commission research firms to study trans-boundary and environmental impacts of the Ethiopian Nile dam.

Egypt is worried that the Ethiopian dam might impact on its traditional share of Nile water, which has long been determined by a colonial-era water-sharing treaty that Addis Ababa has never recognized.

Ethiopia, however, insists the project won’t affect Egypt’s water supply.

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