President Sisi's speech during his meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister
Friday، 19 January 2018 - 11:33 AM
Dear brother Hailemariam Desalegn,
Prime Minister of Ethiopia Federal Democratic Republic
Ladies and gentlemen
First allow me to welcome my dear brother Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Federal Democratic Republic and the accompanying delegation in their second country Egypt. This visit is important as it witnesses the convocation of the joint Egyptian-Ethiopian committee in Cairo for the first time at the level of the two countries’ leaders. Both sides were keen to organize this important event to boost bilateral cooperation out of the will to reinforce friendship and brotherhood of the two countries.
Egypt and Ethiopia are two African nations and civilizations linked by historical relations going back to thousands of years and connected together by the great River Nile ,which was and is still a main source of life for both peoples. Since the very beginning of shouldering my responsibility ,I gave much care for contacting our brothers in Ethiopia and I met for the first time with the dignified Prime Minister on the margin of the African Union Summit held in June 2014 in Malabo which resulted in Malabo joint statement that emphasized the most important governing means of cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia.
It was a pleasure having my first bilateral visit to Ethiopia in March 2015,as it was an important opportunity to stress once again the Egyptian vision on the importance to intensify our utmost efforts to maintain interests of the two countries and achieve development , welfare and prosperity for the Egyptian and Ethiopian peoples .
Ladies and gentlemen
The importance of this visit and of the convocation of the joint committee for the first time at the level of the two countries’ leaders is not only due to the economic opportunities it provides to enhance political and economic cooperation,but it also gives a clear signal to our peoples and the whole world indicating our political will and determination to trespass any obstacles on the way of developing the relations between the two countries. .
I think that his excellency Prime Minister is feeling as relieved as I am regarding the sincere desire of both sides, that was witnessed the last few days during the meetings of the joint committee, to enhance bilateral cooperation .This led to the approval of a number conventions frameworks in the domains of industrial cooperation ,in addition to aMoUs on political and diplomatic consultation, which we foresee as an important mean to activate and follow up the implementation of cooperation in all fields between the two countries.
We tackled today as well the opportunities to increase the economic cooperation between the two countries on the light of the Egyptian private sector interest to increase its investments in the Ethiopian market.We agreed upon the importance to provide all possible facilities to promote such investments including the establishment of an Egyptian industrial zone in Ethiopia,and cooperation in the fields of agricultural investment,animal resources, fish farming and health;and intensifying efforts to increase trade exchange to boost economic integrity between Egypt and Ethiopia and present the African integrated successful example .
Ladies and Gentlemen
I handled by discussion with my brother the Ethiopian Prime Minister the issue of mutual cooperation among the Nile basin countries. Within this context,I confirmed Egypt ‘s belief in the right of Ethiopia, all sisterly countries and peoples around the world in development.I made it clear that the River Nile basin enjoys enormous sources and potentialities that makes it a source of interrelationships ,construction and development rather than conflict, specially cooperation in the fields of electrical connection, agriculture and manufacturing, investment and trade exchange on basis of” common interest”. We have numerous examples of successful experiences of other world river basins countries as they managed to share the interests and avert the harming of any party. Doubtless,the success of such experiences is based on avoiding individual action and paying full respect to international laws governing the use of rivers’ water.
During my discussions with his Excellency Ethiopian Prime Minister, I sought to confirm that the cooperation model of the River Nile Basin could never be a zero sum equation ; on the contrary, it is a mean to achieve development and welfare for our people, through cooperation and understanding of the concerns of the other party. Especially when these concerns are related to the main artery of life for a people whose population exceeds one hundred million person, and depends mainly on this river as a source of water.
Concerning the Renaissance Dam, I expressed our serious concerns about the impasse of the tripartite technical path, which is concerned with completing the agreed-upon studies to determine the possible environmental, economic and social effects of the dam on the two downstream states and how to avoid them. I also confirm the importance of the three parties to work as fast as they can to get over this impasse to guarantee resuming the required studies, as a condition laid down by the declaration of principles signed by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in 2015, to start filling the tank and setting its methods of operation annually.
I am concerned to indicate, in this respect, that we appreciate that Ethiopia always confirms its keenness on not harming Egypt's water interests. However, it is necessary to acknowledge that the only viable way to achieve that is to resume the required studies and abide by its results, which guarantee avoiding any negative effect of the dam on the two downstream states.
Acknowledging the importance of the resumption of the technical path of the Renaissance Dam, Egypt promptly presented to our brothers in Ethiopia and Sudan a proposal of having the World Bank participate in the meetings of the Renaissance Dam tripartite national committee , as a neutral technical party to settle the technical disputes between the three countries.
In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm Egypt's strategic trend to solidify the common interest with Ethiopia in all fields, and we will spare no effort to achieve it.
I would like as well to welcome his Excellency Prime Minister Desalegn and his accompanying delegation again, and wish them a fruitful stay in their country Egypt. I would like also to thank all those who participated in the joint supreme committee from the two delegations, and I look forward for the two parties to seriously follow-up reached agreements, for the interest of the two sisterly peoples.