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Ethiopia and Egypt agree to further strengthen ties

Staff Writer |
The prime ministers of Ethiopia and Egypt, Abiy Ahmed and Mostafa Madbouly, on Sunday agreed to further strengthen the "excellent" ties between the two African countries.

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The two leaders met on the margins of the 11th extraordinary summit of the African Union (AU), which is underway at the headquarters of the AU in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa from Nov. 17 to 18, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ahmed, who dubbed the existing cooperation between the River Nile-bounded countries as "excellent," also stressed on the importance of further strengthening their mutually beneficial cooperation.

"Noting that Ethiopia and Egypt have had excellent relations both at country and leadership level, the two sides further agreed to cascade this excellent relationship down to enhanced people-to-people ties," the statement from the ministry reads.

The prime ministers also agreed to "expedite the ongoing tripartite technical consultations among Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt."

The tripartite technical consultations mainly concerns the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile River, a major tributary to the world's longest river that originates from Ethiopia and shared among the three countries.

The GERD, which will be Africa's largest dam upon completion with a total volume of 74,000 million cubic meters, has been a major issue in bilateral relations since ts start in April 2011.

While Ethiopia and Sudan previously reached mutual consensus on the construction of the dam, Egypt has frequently expressed its concern that the dam would affect its share of the river's water.

The three countries formed a tripartite committee back in 2012 to create understanding and look into the benefits and impacts the project.

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