Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty arrived in the Sudanese capital Khartoum Tuesday to meet with his Sudanese counterpart Moataz Moussa.
This is considered the first official visit abroad for Abdel Aty after his appointment in March. According to ministry spokesperson Waleed Haqeeq, the visit to Sudan was scheduled by the minister to be his first visit following his appointment.
“The visit will include discussions on bilateral issues, including economic and agricultural partnership,” Haqeeq told Daily News Egypt.
He added that the minister will not formally discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue, as this would require the presence of representatives from Ethiopia.
Tensions have reignited between Egypt and Sudan in recent days, following statements from the latter on renewing negotiations over the long-contested areas of Hala’ib and Shalateen.
Abdel Aaty’s one-day visit to Sudan will be followed by a trip to Ethiopia on Wednesday, to participate in the second Africa Climate Resilient Infrastructure Summit (ACRIS II).
The summit will take place in Addis Ababa until Thursday. The summit is expected to tackle establishing infrastructure that is able to resist the effects of climate change in Africa.
The GERD has strained relations between Ethiopia and Egypt since construction began in 2011, with relations reaching their lowest point in 2013. Construction on the GERD is currently 60% complete.
Members of the tripartite committee of the GERD are preparing to present their final review of the technical studies on the construction of the dam to the water ministers of the three countries.