Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is expected to begin a three-day visit to both Sudan and Ethiopia on Monday, a senior presidential source said Thursday.
The source added that, during his visit to Sudan on Monday, al-Sisi will meet with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to discuss means of bolstering bilateral relations.
“Al-Sisi will spend two days in Ethiopia as of Tuesday,” the source told The Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
He added that, while in Ethiopia, al-Sisi would meet with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and a number of senior government officials.
He said talks between the Egyptian and Ethiopian sides would dwell on means of cementing bilateral ties and African and regional issues.
He added that the talks would also focus on efforts to reach an agreement between the two states on Ethiopia’s controversial Nile dam, as well as the results of meetings held by members of technical committees.
The source said it was not yet decided whether the two states would sign a declaration of principles on the dam.
Earlier in the day, the Ethiopian government confirmed a planned visit by al-Sisi to Addis Ababa on Monday.
Al-Sisi is expected to hold talks with top Ethiopian government officials, including Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Redwan Hussein, head of the Ethiopian government’s communication affairs office, told The Anadolu Agency.
“Al-Sisi is also scheduled to address the Ethiopian Parliament as part of his visit,” he added.
Last week, Desalegn visited Egypt to attend a major investment conference in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Relations between Ethiopia and Egypt have improved since al-Sisi and Desalegn met at an African summit in Equatorial Guinea last summer.
Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam has been at the center of a diplomatic row between Cairo and Addis Ababa for several months.
While Ethiopia views the multibillion-dollar dam as a prerequisite for economic development, Egypt fears the project will lead to a marked reduction in Egypt’s supply of Nile water.
A committee comprised of ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan has convened several times in the latter two countries to discuss the dam’s potential impact on downstream states.
Source: World Bulletin / News Desk