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Egypt continues to gather Arab support on Nile Dam

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday where he held talks with his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as part of an Arab tour to press his country’s case in the dispute with Ethiopia on the Nile dam.

Shoukry conveyed a message from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

During their meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE’s and Egypt’s foreign ministers reviewed bilateral relations and took stock of the latest regional and global developments.

Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the depth of ties between the UAE and Egypt, and their firm determination to bolster relations and cooperation to serve the interests of the brotherly peoples of both countries.

For his part, the Egyptian top diplomat praised bilateral relations, terming them as ”distinguished” and enjoying the support of the leaderships of both countries. He highlighted the need for sustained efforts to strengthen joint work and further advance bilateral cooperation.

Before his stop in Abu Dhabi, Shoukry was in Riyadh where he met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to deliver a message to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Cairo’s position on the dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, and the latest developments in negotiations with Addis Ababa.

The Egyptian FM had traveled to Saudi Arabia from Kuwait where he also delivered a message to Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the dam dispute.

Shoukry kicked off his Arab tour by visiting Jordan and Iraq first.

Following the UAE, he is expected to travel to Bahrain and Oman to garner more Arab support for Cairo.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew held talks with Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, regarding the status of the ongoing talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Andargachew reiterated that the negotiations on GERD should be held in line with the principle of fair, equitable and reasonable utilization of transboundary natural resources.

Mahamat underlined that the negotiation should strike a fair deal benefiting all stakeholders.

Last week, a dispute emerged between Egypt and Ethiopia over the filling and operation of the $4 billion dam, particularly after a last round of talks in Washington failed to reach a final agreement between the concerned parties.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan had expected to sign an agreement in Washington, but Ethiopia skipped the meeting and only Egypt has initialed the deal thus far.

Source: Asharq Al_Awsat

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