Ethiopia, Egypt relations shouldn’t confine only to one file: Amb. Mohamed

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Addis Ababa, 22 June 2014 (WIC) - Egyptian Embassy in Ethiopia said that the bilateral ties between Ethiopia and Egypt shouldn’t confine to only a single file of the Nile water, Ahram Online reported.

In his telephone interview with Alahram Online, Ambassador Mohamed Edrees said that the two countries should see a wider range of cooperation.

He added that Egyptian investments in Ethiopia are now nearing $2 billion.  

“We are working on having more of this multi-dimensional relation – so while we are planning to resume the strategic dialogue between the two countries and to upgrade it possibly we are also working to see Egyptian and Ethiopian novelists being translated respectively in Amharic and Arabic,” he said.

The coming weeks and months, Edrees said, will see several high-level Egyptian-African meetings that would help pave the way towards the evolution of relations.

“The president would be personally attending high-level African meetings – and he is keen to do this; he will also be giving a lot of attention to bilateral visits and of course Ethiopia is a top priority in this respect,” he explained.

“In any case the president is expected to be having a bilateral session on the fringe of the African summit later this month with the prime minister of Ethiopia,” he said.

He explained that this session would be dedicated to the full aspects of the bilateral relations between the two east African countries “of course including the file of the Nile water shares and the Renaissance Dam.”

Edrees admitted that the matter of the huge Ethiopian dam under construction on the Blue Nile, that Egyptians argue could have a major negative impact on Egypt’s share of the Nile waters, is still not nearing resolution. He added, however, that the beginning of high-level meetings “in a positive atmosphere” could help consolidate the technical efforts of the concerned officials on both sides.

“Obviously the political will is crucial in this matter and the political will could be generated through the high-level meetings,” he said.

Edrees is convinced that if both Cairo and Addis Ababa gave the matter a dedicated effort “a win-win solution could be reached to help Ethiopia secure its aspired electricity generation capacity without causing Egypt harsh damage to its water share.”

“This would take a lot more work and we should not get too euphoric here,” he said. “But we should not think that we are looking at an impasse despite the way the situation may seem today because we are having constant diplomatic consultations on the matter,” he added.