Egypt’s FM Heads to Ethiopia Thursday for Dam Talks

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Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is set to visit Addis Ababa on Thursday for further talks on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, a diplomatic source told Ahram Online on Tuesday.

According to the source, Shoukry will meet his counterpart Tedros Adhanom to discuss the construction and progress of the dam which has been at the centre of a crisis between Cairo and Addis Ababa for months now.

In a phone interview with Ahram Online, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Aty confirmed the visit and said “preparations are still in progress. We are still discussing who else – apart from the minister of foreign affairs – he is going to meet.”

According to the diplomatic source: “Shoukry, who has been on a European tour visiting Germany, France and Italy, will head directly to Addis Ababa to discuss the findings of the latest round of negotiations between both countries.”

A breakthrough in talks between both countries seemed to have been reached when Egypt’s Irrigation Minister Hossam El-Moghazi said last week that 85 percent of the issues concerning Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam had been resolved.

Top officials from Egypt and Ethiopia were engaged in tripartite talks in Sudan’s Khartoum in late August.

The project has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government since May 2013, when images of the dam’s construction stirred public anxiety about the possible effect on Egypt’s potable water supply.

Ethiopia maintains that Egypt’s water share will not be negatively affected by the successful completion of the project, set to be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam.

Source: Ahram Online