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Ethiopia invites Sisi to discuss Nile dam issue

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom invited President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to visit Ethiopia after a meeting in Cairo

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Egypt’s newly-inaugurated President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been invited to visit Ethiopia after months of diplomatic scuffles over the unfinished Renaissance dam, Egypt’s presidential office said on Monday.

“The Ethiopian minister has invited [President] al-Sisi to visit Addis Ababa during a meeting on Monday,” spokesman Ehab Badawi told reporters on Monday, as quoted by The World News Bulletin.

“President al-Sisi has welcomed the invitation,” he added.

The invitation came during a meeting between Sisi and the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom at the presidential headquarters in Cairo.

Bilateral relations between Addis Abbaba and Cairo have soured over Ethiopia’s construction of a multi-billion hydroelectric dam along the Nile River to generate electricity. Egypt fears this could minimize its share of the river’s water.

Badawi said Sisi “stressed the deep, historical bonds between the two countries and insisted that the issue concerning Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam ‘should be solved through dialogue’,” as quoted by Ahram Online.

During his inauguration speech, Sisi said he would not allow relations between Egypt and Ethiopia to deteriorate.

He also said Egypt understands Ethiopia’s need for development but noted that this should not be at the expense of Egypt’s water share.

“I will not allow the Renaissance Dam to cause any crises,” Sisi said on Sunday.

“If the dam symbolizes Ethiopia’s right to development, the Nile symbolizes Egypt’s right to life,” he added.