Sisi discusses Ethiopian dam, bilateral projects with Uganda president

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Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Tuesday that he had stressed to his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni Egypt’s keenness to find an end to the long debates on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Museveni arrived in Cairo on Tuesday for a two-day visit, on the sidelines of a joint governmental committee meeting between Egypt and Uganda.

Bassam Radi, spokesman for the Egyptian president, said in an official statement that the bilateral talks between the two presidents highlighted the strong ties between the countries.

During a joint press conference, both leaders spoke about the importance of Nile water for the people of the two countries.

“I have expressed to my dear brother during our talks Egypt’s keenness to reach an agreement on the issue issue concerning the Ethiopian dam,” said Sisi.

He also stressed on the importance of sticking to the Declaration of Principles signed by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in 2015, which preserves the rights of all countries to their share of the Nile.

The two presidents also discussed the Nile water issue and agreed on the importance of enhancing cooperation between the Nile Basin countries to achieve the sustainable use of water resources.
On Monday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that latest round of negotiations on the GERD between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, held last week, were unsuccessful due to Ethiopia and Sudan’s refusal to share a report on the study conducted to determine the impact of the dam on downstream countries.

Egypt has long feared that the $4.7 billion dam would reduce the country’s share of Nile water.

Museveni congratulated Sisi on winning a second term as Egypt’s president, in a March election, while hailing his role in fighting terrorism.

“I congratulate the Egyptian president for rescuing Egypt from being taken over by extremists who have caused a lot of problems to Egypt and to Africa,” said Museveni.

He also described El-Sisi as being “a freedom fighter” like the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser.

“I am very happy that Egypt is under a stable and progressive leadership,” he said.

Radi said that a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed on Tuesday between both countries to boost cooperation and enhance investment.

Museveni pointed to the broad prospects for developing cooperation between the two countries in many fields, especially in the economic field. He also expressed his aspirations to increase the activity of the Egyptian private sector in Uganda.

The two leaders also discussed security issues concerning countries in Africa including South Sudan, Libya and central and eastern parts of the continent.

“We have discussed cooperation to combat terrorism and the means to cut off all funding for terror acts, which represent a great danger to our people,” said Sisi during the press conference.

The two presidents also agreed on the importance of enhancing projects in African countries and developing cooperation between the private sector, and ensuring practical steps are implemented, like the maritime linkage project between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean.

Museveni said that the Nile should be used as a mean of transportation. “God gave us the Nile as a highway; this Nile will give us water and should as well be used as a way of transportation.”

Source: Ahram Online

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