CAIRO: Today, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with two representatives of an Ethiopian popular diplomacy delegation, Mrs. Mulu Solomon, former Head of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Mrs. Hirut Woldemariam, Vice President of Addis Ababa University.
The President welcomed the delegation’s representatives and commended their role in strengthening popular relations between the two countries. He also lauded the role of popular diplomacy in achieving societal engagement that contributes to building bridges and promoting understanding between the two peoples, in addition to bringing points of view closer together on bilateral relations issues.
The President also welcomed the establishment of the office for the coordination of Egyptian-Ethiopian relations and the imminent completion of its formation from both sides. The launching of this office is one of the outcomes of President El Sisi’s visit to Ethiopia in March 2015. Acting as a mechanism for direct contact at the popular level, the office will also contribute to the advancement of frameworks of cooperation between the two countries in various areas.
President El Sisi noted that he looks forward to furthering the parliamentary aspect of bilateral relations, given the imminent convening of the new Egyptian House of Representatives.
The President highlighted Egypt’s commitment to reaching consensus with Ethiopia on all issues, given the historic relations that bind the two countries and taking into consideration the importance of positively addressing the concerns of each side. He also underscored Egypt’s keenness to work on maximizing joint benefit from the promising investment opportunities they offer
The two representatives expressed that they were pleased to be in Egypt, hoping that the visit would usher in a new phase of engagement at the public and societal levels in order to bridge points of views. They welcomed progress made in Egyptian-Ethiopian relations, which reflects the true political will shared by the leadership and people in both countries to promote mutual understanding and integration among Nile basin countries, given the common history, destiny and challenges Egypt and Ethiopia share.
They lauded President El Sisi’s visit to Ethiopia last March and its outcome, which included the exchange of visits of diplomatic popular delegations and the establishment of new frameworks for coordination. They noted that the Ethiopian people recall with appreciation the speech President El Sisi delivered before the Ethiopian parliament, which helped in building trust at the official and public levels.
They emphasized the need to consolidate African efforts to realize economic development and reach permanent solutions to crises and challenges that Africa faces. President El Sisi discussed with the delegation representatives the outcome of their meetings in Cairo, which aim at enhancing cooperation in the fields of education, health, trade, culture and investment.
President El Sisi reiterated Egypt’s commitment to strengthening engagement and collaboration with Ethiopia at various levels. This comes within Egypt’s policy based on openness to all African countries to enhance relations, and realize the interests of the continent’s peoples and pursue development stability.