AFRICANGLOBE – Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi arrived in Addis Ababa on Monday for a three-day visit to Ethiopia.
The Egyptian leader was welcomed upon his arrival at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Both leaders were in Khartoum earlier in the day, where they – along with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir – signed a declaration of principles on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Ethiopia is currently building on the Nile’s upper reaches.
During his visit to Ethiopia – his first-ever state visit to the Horn of Africa nation – al-Sisi is scheduled to meet with Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome at the National Palace on Tuesday.
At the same venue, he is also slated to hold talks with Desalegn, before both officials hold a joint press conference.
He is also scheduled to visit the leaders of Ethiopia’s Islamic Affairs Council and Ethiopian Orthodox Church Patriarch Abune Mathias.
The Egyptian leader is due to wrap up his visit with a Wednesday address before Ethiopia’s parliament.
The GERD project has been at the center of a diplomatic row between Cairo and Addis Ababa for several months.
While Ethiopia views the dam as a prerequisite for its economic development, Egypt fears the project will lead to a marked reduction in its historical share of Nile water.
Relations between the two countries have improved, however, since al-Sisi and Desalegn met at an African summit in Equatorial Guinea last summer.
According to the declaration of principles, the GERD is meant to build trust between the three countries while ensuring equitable use of Nile water without causing harm to any country.
Construction of the GERD, it adds, has taken into consideration the three countries’ development needs.
The document, it is hoped, will allow the signatories to utilize the common resource fairly to build sustainable trust among them.
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