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Ethiopian FM met with Egyptian counterpart, stressed longstanding Ethiopia-Egypt relations

egyptEthiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu asserted on 16 January that the partnership between Ethiopia and Egypt is longstanding, beyond the Nile River that the two countries share.

Gebeyehu made the remarks during his discussion with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on the sidelines of the 6th Ethiopia-Egypt Joint Ministerial Commission meeting.

Gebeyehu, who praised the historic relations between the two countries, also called for further strengthening the ties between Ethiopia and Egypt with due emphasis given to priority interest areas.

According to Gebeyehu, the diplomatic relations among Ethiopia and Egypt is beyond the Nile River that the two countries share and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile River, a major tributary to the River Nile.

Shoukry revealed that the current high-level meeting between Ethiopia and Egypt mainly envisaged to strengthen partnerships in the areas of education, culture, trade and investment.

The diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Egypt is largely intertwined with the Blue Nile River that originates from Ethiopia and shared among Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the river, which will be regarded as Africa’s largest dam upon completion with a total volume of 74,000 million cubic meters, has been a major issue among the two countries since its commencement in April, 2011 with a construction cost of 80 billion Ethiopian birr (close to 4.7 billion U.S. dollars). While Ethiopia and Sudan reached a mutual consensus on the construction of the dam, Egypt frequently expressed its concern that the dam would affect its share of the river.

The three countries had formed a tripartite committee back in 2012 to create understanding and look into the benefits and impacts the project would have in the three countries.