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Egypt-Ethiopia-Sudan Summit to Discuss Stalled ‘Renaissance Dam’ Negotiations

Egypt-Ethiopia-Sudan Summit to Discuss Stalled ‘Renaissance Dam’ Negotiations

Monday, 29 January, 2018 - 09:45
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn after signing an agreement on sharing water from the Nile River, Khartoum, Sudan, March 23, 2015 (AP photo by Abd Raouf).

Sudan’s Ambassador to Egypt Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim expected to return to Cairo soon to resume his mission, after he was summoned for consultations on Jan. 4.


“After the end of the African Union summit (currently held in Ethiopia), the date of the return will be set,” Abdel Halim said, in reference to the improvement of relations between the two countries.


Egypt and Sudan saw tense relations over the past month, due to differences over the Halayeb Triangle and Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam, in addition to Sudanese accusations, despite Cairo’s denial that it supports rebels against the regime of President Omar al-Bashir.


Tension reached its peak with Sudan’s decision to recall its ambassador in Cairo for consultations, with Cairo reacting calmly and cautiously on the official level, accusing regional states of seeking to strain relations between the two countries.


On the sidelines of the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir in the first meeting since the diplomatic crisis erupted on January 4.


The two leaders said they had agreed to form a ministerial committee to deal with all bilateral issues and overcome all obstacles they might face.


Abdel Halim described the Egyptian-Sudanese summit as “very positive and important,” pointing out in a statement cited by the Middle East News Agency: “We have seen a transparent atmosphere between Presidents Sisi and Bashir. This atmosphere will be reflected on relations between the two countries, which are based on common interests.


“The two presidents agreed to form a committee comprising the foreign ministers and heads of intelligence and national security to develop a roadmap on how to address concerns and outstanding issues,” he stated.


Meanwhile, the presidents of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet in Addis Ababa on Monday to try to break the technical deadlock over the Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia is building on the Nile to generate electricity. Egypt says it threatens its share of the River’s water.


“The aim is to agree on the resumption of the consultations,” said a diplomat attending the AU summit in the Ethiopian capital.

The diplomat was speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

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