FM: Ethiopian PM’s visit to Egypt will not tackle Nile issues

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and several other Egyptian officials on 17 and 18 September, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has said, but the meeting will not address controversial Nile water issues.

Relations with Ethiopia were often tense under the former Egyptian regime and Zenawi's visit is his first since the 25 January revolution.

A ministerial meeting for officials from both countries will preceed the official visit, said Mona Omar, assistant foreign minister for African Affairs. She said  the visit is important as both countries work to restore confidence and will generate momentum for better, more developed relations of cooperation and understanding between them, she added.

An Egyptian-Ethiopian committee will examine several cooperation projects, particularly economic ventures, she said.

She added that the primary focus of the visit will be to bolster bilateral relations between Cairo and Addis Ababa. The ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation prepared the agenda for the meetings.

The tripartite committee of members from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia that will discuss Ethiopia’s Grand Millennium Dam has not yet convened, she added, saying that Egypt has already submitted the names of its experts who will participate  A date has not yet been set for a committee meeting.

She also said that the Egyptian and Ethiopian foreign ministers will discuss the situation in Sudan and the famine in the Horn of Africa.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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