Egypt Tries to Ease tensions With Ethiopia


Egyptian Prime Minister, Essam Sharaf, arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Thursday for talks with senior government officials as part of the efforts to end the Nile water crises and for talks on a number of other bilateral issues.
His visit will mark a new chapter of cooperation between the two countries and a major step forward in healing their decades long rough relations over the Nile water row. The Egyptian Prime Minister on Friday met his Ethiopian counterpart, Meles Zenawi where the two sides discuss on ways of enhancing cooperation for the peaceful and maximum utilisation of the resources of the Nile water.

Following the discussion Sharaf said a new chapter has opened in relations between Egypt and Ethiopia to work in partnership for mutual development. “What we are looking for is development in both countries [Ethiopia and Egypt] . Every country has the right to development and the development in Ethiopia is absolutely helpful to Egypt and vice versa” he told journalists. He said the new government in Egypt will now on pave the way for new cooperation not only with Ethiopia but also with other countries of the African continent.

“We had in previous passive and remote-based cooperation with African countries. What we are talking about now is a whole development plan that emphasizes our interest and new approach in cooperation with all African countries […] No one can stop the Nile Basin countries from cooperating and seeking joint development,” said Sharaf.

A number of agreements on expanding economic, trade and investments between Egypt and Ethiopia are expected to be signed following his two day visit in Addis Ababa.

The latest visit by the Egyptian Prime minister is an extension visit of a 48-member Egyptian public diplomacy delegation recently visited Ethiopia and returned home with a pledge from Ethiopian Prime Minister that Addis Ababa will postpone ratification of a treaty on sharing Nile River water until a new government in Egypt takes office.

The new government in Egypt has ushered a new and promising relationship with Ethiopia after the North African country saw its long-time President Hosni Mubarak swept away from power last February in a popular uprising.