It is “inevitable” that Egypt will continue to work on implementing the agreement that was reached during the tripartite summit on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam which was held in Addis Ababa, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference with his Sudanese counterpart Omar Al-Bashir, Sisi stressed that Egypt is “determined” to work together with its “Ethiopian brothers to achieve partnership without harming any party involved.” Al-Bashir arrived in Cairo on Monday for a one-day visit to discuss mutual cooperation with his Egyptian counterpart.
A tripartite summit was held in Addis Ababa in January, attended by Sisi, Bashir and the former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, during which they agreed to finish the relevant technical studies on the dam within a month. They also agreed to hold another meeting on 24 and 25 February in Khartoum, with the participation of the foreign ministers, water ministers and heads of the intelligence services of the three countries. However, the meeting was postponed following Desalegn’s resignation on 15 February.
“We discussed issues of mutual interest between the two countries and the bilateral coordination to the highest level,” Sisi told journalists at the press conference. He stressed the importance of national security and holding regular meetings of the Higher Joint Committee of Egypt and Sudan. “These committee meetings will convene annually to secure and enhance both countries’ interests,” he insisted. The next meeting is scheduled to be held later this year in the Sudanese capital.
Sisi and Bashir also discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations, maximising economic cooperation and serving the common interests of their countries, especially in the fields of agriculture, livestock production, transport and infrastructure. Sisi laid particular stress on the need to “activate” the communication channels between the two countries.
This is the Sudanese President’s first visit to Egypt since October 2016. It comes after his country’s ambassador was recalled from Cairo in February due to heightening tensions between the two governments. Relations have been soured with disputes over the ownership of the Halayeb Triangle border area, and the use of water from the River Nile that passes through their sovereign territories.