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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn in New York that he plans to visit Ethiopia. The date of the visit has not been finalised. The visit signifies a positive development in relations between the two countries following tensions that arose from disagreements over the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
The meeting between the two heads of state comes as part of several meetings in New York on the sidelines of the 69th UN General Assembly session to discuss pressing political and economic issues.
Both have also agreed to enhance cooperation between the two countries in different fields and not just limit it to the dam.
The meeting tackled what was discussed in the tripartite committee meeting which was held here for three days.
The Tripartite National Committee (TNC) which was formed by Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan has established a technical committee to study the Environmental and Socio-Economic Impact effect of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The three nations, during the three day meeting held at the Hilton Hotel, from September 20 to 22, announced the establishment of a technical committee comprising of four experts from each country.
The tripartite national technical committee, which is tasked with conducting additional studies on the impacts of the massive Ethiopian dam on lower riparian countries, begins its work on Tuesday September 23.
The 12-member experts committee will conduct its studies based on the recommendations forwarded by an international panel of experts, which previously made the assessments.
The committee was established on Monday September 22, based on agreements reached during the fourth tripartite Nile talks held in Khartoum last month between the three countries.
Following the meeting, water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan expressed satisfaction over the successful deliberation and accomplishment of the meeting saying it will open a new chapter in cooperation between the three countries.
The ministers, in a joint statement, said the progress achieved from the latest round of talks will forge and strengthen trust and confidence among the three countries.
They further stressed that was a good start and step forward to discharge the responsibilities and expectations of their people and the region at large.
“This would lay the foundation for professional and responsible cooperation,” partly reads the statement.
The ministers also agreed to hold the next round of the national technical committee meeting next month in Cairo, Egypt where the three countries are expected to consult on which international consultancy firm will be hired by the tripartite experts committee.
On Sunday September 21, the three water ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan also visited the power plant project being built on the Nile River near the Sudanese border.
Following the visit, Sudanese minister of water resources and electricity, Mutaz Musa Abdalla Salim, said Khartoum strongly believes the dam the project has multiple benefits to his country and the region hoping next round of talks would even be more successful.
Salim said the region had come to understand the importance of the dam adding that Sudan was ready to provide the necessary support to the successful completion of the project.
Egypt’s water and irrigation Minister, Hossam Moghazi, said the hydropower dam project should not be a source confrontation, but rather a means of regional integration and economic partnership.
The USD 5 billion power plant project, which would be Africa’s largest, has become a source of fierce dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt as the latter fears that the massive dam project will diminish its water share.