Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Egypt MPs to Meet With FM to Discuss Saudi Visit to Ethiopian Dam
Gamal Essam El-Din
Ahram Online
Wednesday 21 Dec 2016

The head of parliament's foreign relations committee ‎Ahmed Said said the meeting will also focus on foreign minister Sameh Shoukry's recent ‎visit to the US‎

Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry will discuss on Thursday in a ‎meeting with the heads of four parliamentary ‎committees Egypt's relations with Saudi ‎Arabia after Saudi officials visited Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, which is being built on a tributary to Egypt’s Nile River.

The meeting will include the head of parliament's Foreign ‎Relations Committee Ahmed Said, the head of the Arab ‎Affairs Committee Saad El-Gammal, the head of the ‎African Relations Committee Mostafa El-Guindi, and ‎the head of the National Security Committee Kamal ‎Amer.‎

Said told reporters on Wednesday that the heads of the ‎four parliamentary committees wish to ask minister ‎Shoukry some questions about Egypt's foreign policy ‎in general, and relations with Saudi Arabia and the ‎United States in particular.‎

“Foreign minister Sameh Soukry insists that relations ‎with Saudi Arabia are good, but most MPs disagree ‎and want to ask questions in this respect,” said ‎Said.

“A recent visit to Ethiopia's ‎Renaissance Dam by an advisor to ‎Saudi Arabia's King Salman has left MPs wondering why ‎Saudi Arabia is showing interest in a dam that might ‎cause harm to Egypt's annual revenue of ‎Nile water.”‎

In a meeting with parliament's human rights ‎committee on Tuesday, deputy foreign minister ‎Khaled Youssri told MPs that “the foreign ministry ‎does not have information on whether there is ‎economic cooperation between Saudi Arabia and ‎Ethiopia.”

“We are closely following what is going on ‎around us, but we do not have information on ‎whether there will be any joint projects between ‎Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia.”‎

Said said that MPs also want to discuss the result of ‎minister Shoukry’s recent visit to the US, where he ‎met there with vice president-elect Mike Pence ‎and a number of US members of Congress.‎

Qatari FM departs Cairo for talks in Addis Ababa

Ahram Online
Tuesday 20 Dec 2016

Qatar's foreign minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has left Cairo for Addis Ababa after attending a meeting of Arab League representatives on the situation in Syria's Aleppo on Monday evening.

The Qatari official is set to meet on Tuesday with the Ethiopian president, prime minister and foreign minister to discuss the latest regional and international developments, according to a statement published on the Ethiopian foreign ministry’s website.

Ethiopia and Qatar resumed diplomatic and economic ties in 2014 after four years of severed relations over Addis Ababa accusing Doha of backing opposition groups in the East African country.

Relations between Ethiopia and Arab Gulf countries have been witnessing improvement in recent months, with Ethiopia receiving a number of Saudi and Qatari officials.

In 2015, Qatar launched investments worth $500 million in factories and industrial facilities in Ethiopia.

The Qatari FM’s visit to Ethiopia comes three days after a visit by an official Saudi delegation headed by Ahmed Al-Khateeb, senior advisor to the Saudi royal court and board chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD). Al-Khateeb met with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn in Addis Ababa.

The Saudi delegation visited the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) construction site and met with the chief engineer, discussing the current state of the project.

The 6,000-megawatt dam, which is nearly 70 percent complete, is situated close to Ethiopia's border with Sudan. Ethiopia hopes it will be able to export energy generated by the dam.

Egypt has expressed concerns that the dam might reduce the amount of Nile Water it receives.

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