Monday, July 12, 2010

Egyptian Ministers Visit Ethiopia

Source: A Week in the Horn (09.07.2010) Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Mr. Ahmed Abul-Gheit, the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of International Cooperation, Mrs. Fayza Abulnaga, were in Addis Ababa for a one day working visit. The officials had discussions with their counterparts Ato Seyoum Mesfin, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ato Girma Biru, Minister of Trade and Industry. The Egyptian officials were also given audience by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Ato Meles Zenawi.

The holding of a meeting at such a high political level was welcomed. Very serious and frank discussion was conducted and both sides agreed that the multifaceted relations between the two countries should be promoted and further enhanced. It was emphasized that the close bond that exists between Ethiopia and Egypt cannot, for obvious reasons, be broken.

As regards the Cooperative Framework Agreement under the umbrella of the Nile Basin Initiative, understanding was reached to try and narrow the gap by negotiating in good faith notwithstanding the differences that might exist with all due respect to the principles of equitable and reasonable utilization and not causing significant harm to other Basin states. It was emphasized that there was no reason why the issue between upper and lower riparian countries could not be handled and resolved in such a way as would promote and protect the interest of both sides. What is required is, on the part of both, to handle matters relating to the Nile waters with realism and without the need for undue suspiciousness. Ethiopian officials were very forthcoming in assuring the Egyptian delegation that none of the upper riparian countries was interested in pursuing objectives that are based on zero-sum calculations. But, of course, there is a need on the part of the lower riparian countries to be serious about subscribing to the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization which is only fair and a principle universally upheld.