Ethiopia’s Prime Minister; Haili Miriam Desaline, to deliver a speech at Egyptian Parliament 28 November, 2017 – Egypt Today
CAIRO - 17 December 2017: ‘In Support of Egypt’ Coalition welcomed the visit of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister; Haili Miriam Desaline, to deliver a speech in the Egyptian Parliament.
The parliamentary majority bloc controlling 350 seats at the Egyptian Parliament deemed this visit as an opportunity to improve relations between Egypt and Ethiopia in view of the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Simultaneously, some opposing parliamentarians have refused the visit and continued to collect signatures in refusal to receive Desalegn.
The spokesman for the coalition, Parliamentarian Salah Hasballah, said that the role of parliament and popular diplomacy must be activated to improve the situation regarding the Renaissance Dam file and that the rejection of the visit to address the Egyptian parliament undermines those efforts.
Hasballah added that the attitude of those who reject the visit represents “a fake heroism” and that the real heroism is to take responsibility and conduct extensive and high-level dialogues with the Ethiopian side, in order to preserve Egypt’s rights in the waters of the Nile and not to deal with the stalemate of the Ethiopian position as a final decision.
Earlier as last November, the Ethiopian prime minister has met with the chairman of the African Affairs Committee; Professor Elsayed Felyfel, who said that the visit aimed to discuss cooperation between the Ethiopian and Egyptian parliaments.
“Ethiopia is keen to resume negotiations with Egypt and to continue the construction of the Renaissance Dam while taking the significant harm of the dam’s effect on Egypt’s share of the Nile water into account,” noted the chairman.
Since May 2011, Cairo has voiced its concern over how the dam can reduce the country’s annual share of more than 56 billion cubic meters of Nile water. Egypt’s average water per-capita is expected to drop from 663 cubic meters per year to 582 cubic meters by 2025, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). Addis Ababa, however, claimed that the dam is necessary for Ethiopia’s development and will not harm downstream countries.