Egypt does not interfere in the domestic affairs of any state, particularly friendly ones like Ethiopia, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry reaffirmed in a statement Sunday.
The remarks came after the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry summoned Egypt’s ambassador to the country last week for discussions over a video circulated online purportedly showing “an Egyptian” sharing a stage with members of the rebel, outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
“The meeting of the Egyptian ambassador and the Ethiopian foreign minister showed common understanding of the necessity to maintain the positive momentum of the relations between the two countries,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in the statement.
The OLF is an Ethiopian organization established in 1973 by Oromo nationalists, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, to promote self-determination for the Oromo people. It has been designated a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian government.
Ethiopia declared on Sunday a six-month state of emergency over anticipated threats “posed by forces working in collaboration with foreign enemies to undermine the safety of the people and security and stability of the country,” according to the Ethiopian News Agency.
Zeid continued that the video could possibly be circulated “by parties that seek to sow discord and drive a wedge between Egypt and Ethiopia,” hailing the recent establishment of mutual trust.
Tense overshadowed Egypt-Ethiopia relations since the later started in 2013 to divert a tributary of the River Nile as a first preparatory step to build its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), amid Egyptian concerns that the dam may affect Egypt’s 55.5 billion-cubic-meters annual share of the river water.
However, Egypt and its fellow downstream Nile Basin country Sudan gradually showed more understanding of Ethiopia’s development aspirations and the Ethiopian side showed cooperation and commitment to abide by technical studies while building the dam.
On Sept. 20, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia signed contracts with two consultancy offices to conduct further technical studies on the GERD.
Extending on an area of 1,800 square kilometers, the GERD is scheduled to be completed in three years at a cost of 4.7 billion U.S. dollars.