Ethiopia FM in Egypt to discuss Nile dam with Egyptian government

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CAIRO, EGYPT – APRIL 19: Foreign Minister of Ethiopia Workneh Gebeyehu (C) meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (R) and Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Shoukry (L) at the Heliopolis Palace in Cairo, Egypt on April 19, 2017. ( Presidency of Egypt – Handout – Anadolu Agency )

Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to meet with Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shokri, to discuss issues of mutual concern and the Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam is expected to take a focal point according to a diplomatic source, reports Anadolu Agency.

“Talks are likely to focus on bilateral relations and the Nile water issue,” a diplomatic source told Anadolu Agency, anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media.

The two leaders will also discuss the findings of a joint technical committee tasked with studying the impact of Grand Renaissance dam, which is expected to be completed this year, especially to Egypt, according to media reports.

Egypt fears that Ethiopia’s dam will adversely affect its historical share of Nile water, fears that have been dismissed by Addis Ababa which is using the dam to generate electricity.

Egypt’s Water Resources Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati left Ethiopia shortly before the arrival of the Ethiopian FM, to hopefully promote cooperation most likely in the field of irrigation between Egypt and the Nile Basin states.

According to Al Ahram, relations between Cairo and Addis have improved, especially after Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in September signed the final contracts for long-awaited technical studies on the potential impact of the dam on downstream countries.

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