Declaration of principles over Ethiopia dam a "positive step on the right path" - Sisi

Tuesday 24-03-2015 12:29 PM
Declaration of principles over Ethiopia dam a

Labourers work at the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region March 16, 2014. Egypt fears the $4.7 billion dam, that the Horn of Africa nation is building on the Nile, will reduce a water supply vital for its 84 million people, who mostly live in the Nile valley and delta. Picture taken March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri


CAIRO, March 24 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi described a declaration of principles on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam signed on Monday as a "positive step on the right path."

Sisi addressed the declaration during a joint press conference with Ethiopian Prime Minsiter Hailemariam Desalegn during the former's visit to Addis Ababa on Tuesday. Sisi signed the declaration with Desalegn and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Egypt's president said the declaration would strengthen relations between the three countries.

"We hope this [declaration] is followed by other steps to attain desired goals," Sisi said.

Egypt and Ethiopia have decided to upgrade a ministerial committee joining the two countries to leadership level, Sisi and Desalaegn announced.

Desalegn said the committee, to be now headed by the countries' leaders, will meet annually, alternating its location between Cairo and Addis Ababa. The prime minister described the decision to upgrade the committee as a "landmark decision".

Sisi said the committee will look into the details of the declaration of principles.

Sisi and Desalegn also discussed another joint committee set up to look into water issues. They both stressed Sudan is welcome to participate in the committee.

When Ethiopia began the construction of the hydroelectric Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile in 2011, concerns in Egypt surfaced regarding how the dam will affect its share of Nile water.

For decades, Egypt has been annually receiving 55 billion cubic metres of the river's water, the largest share, as per agreements signed in the past century.

Sisi arrived in the Ethiopian capital Monday night, shortly after signing the declaration of principles.

He met with his Ethiopian counterpart earlier on Tuesday.

Sisi is also scheduled to meet with a group of Egyptian and Ethiopian businessmen later today to look into the establishment of an Egyptian industrial zone in Ethiopia, reported the state agency MENA.

The president will conclude his three-day visit by delivering a speech in the Ethiopian parliament on Wednesday. He said he will make use of his speech to deliver "a message of love, peace and cooperation" from the people of Egypt to the people of Ethiopia.

facebook comments