Thursday, June 12, 2014

Egypt, Ethiopia edge closer

(Jun 12, 2014, (Cairo))--Egypt and Ethiopia are making serious efforts to defuse tensions that have marred the two African countries’ relations for more than a year, experts said.

Egypt’s new President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi signalled a thaw in ties with Addis Ababa earlier this week when he said in an inaugural speech that he would not allow a dispute over Ethiopia’s construction of a hydraulic dam on the Nile to “cause a crisis” between both countries or affect inter-African cooperation.

The Cairo-Addis Ababa ties deteriorated last year when Egypt’s then Islamist president Mohammad Mursi and other politicians threatened in a meeting, broadcast live on air, to bomb Ethiopia. Last July, Al Sissi led the army’s ouster of Mursi following enormous street protests against his troubled one-year rule.

“In his inaugural speech, Al Sissi sought to remove the impact of Mursi’s notorious meeting,” Hani Raslan, an expert at the state-run Al Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies said. “By signaling readiness to cooperate with Ethiopia, Al Sissi also sought to deprive Ethiopia of its argument that Egypt stands against development in Africa.”  Read more from Gulf News »

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