FILE – A beach in Sharm El-Sheikh, January, 2009 – Flickr/WomEOS
CAIRO - 26 October 2019: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov discussed ways of boosting tourism cooperation between both countries, said Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the statement said.
“The meeting also tackled cooperation in the field of tourism after the launching of the direct flight route between Baku and Sharm El-Sheikh in July 18, 2019, which contributed to higher tourism rates between Egypt and Azerbaijan. In this context, Shoukry expressed Egypt's keenness on increasing tourist traffic into Sharm El-Sheikh during the winter season,” the statement read.
Both sides tackled discuss bilateral relations and issues of common interest, the statement said, adding, “the two officials also exchanged means of boosting and promoting bilateral relations, while emphasizing the prospects of cooperation in the energy sector and refineries in Egypt, especially after all obstacles facing the project were overcome.”
“Finally, the two Foreign Ministers exchanged views on regional issues of mutual interest, whereby Shoukry reviewed developments of the peace process and Egypt's stance and vision vis-à-vis the proposed initiatives, and the developments regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations,” the statement said.
In his speech at the summit, Shoukry discussed the water scarcity that faces African Sahel and Egypt, according to a statement from the ministry of Saturday.
“The problem of water scarcity has become a threat to many parts of the world, especially the African Sahel and Egypt […] all parties when they deal with transboundary rivers and water streams, should act in good faith with an approach to avoid disputes and conflicts,” said Shourkry in his speech.
Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the $4-billion dam; Cairo voiced concern over its water share after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011.
A series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan began in 2014. One year later, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam. However, Cairo and Addis Ababa have recently blamed each other for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem.
Sisi voiced his aspiration to reach an agreement that bears the common interests of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia into account.