Joint Ethiopian-Egyptian meetings kick off in Addis Ababa
Photo courtesy of Egyptian Foreign Ministry

CAIRO: The fifth round of the joint Egyptian-Ethiopian committee meetings kicked off Saturday in Addis Ababa Saturday.

The relations between both countries cooled dramatically after Ethiopia began construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, which Ethiopia has said is necessary for its development, but Cairo has claimed will endanger the Egyptian share of Nile water. During the Morsi administration, the issue became a political albatross for the president, and he claimed on numerous occasions he would not let the dam construction continue.

However, relations have thawed some since Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the sidelines of the African Summit held in June in Equatorial Guinea; the countries beside Sudan resumed the tripartite talks over the dam.

The ministerial meeting of the committee is scheduled to be held Monday to sign agreements of mutual interests.

A meeting held Saturday included senior officials many ministries from both countries including foreign affairs, culture, education, higher education, trade, industry, health and population, according to a statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

The three-day meeting is scheduled to conclude Monday with a ministerial level gathering between Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Ethiopian counterpart Dr. Tedros Adhanom.

The fourth round of the joint committee activities was held Dec. 14 and 15, 2011 and followed by a visit by the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, according to the foreign ministry website.

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