May 10, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – An Ethiopian Public Diplomacy delegation is paying a one week-long visit to the neighbouring Sudan in order to bolster and further expand existing relations between the two countries.
The visiting Ethiopian public delegation during a visit to Merowe Dam about 350 kilometres (220 mi) north of the capital Khartoum, on Sunday 10 May 2015. Tabitha Butrus, state minister of water resources and electricity accompanied the delegation (Photo SUNA)
The delegation headed by the Speaker of the House of Peoples’ Representative of the Ethiopian Parliament, Abadulla Gemeda, is holding discussions with senior government officials, business community, religious leaders and other members of the civil society in Sudan.
According to Ethiopia Ministry of foreign affairs, the Ethiopian delegation which arrived in Khartoum since Friday 8 May also meets government officials and researchers to discuss on a massive Hydro power plant project which Ethiopia is building along the Nile River.
The 4.2 billion dollar power project known as Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (EGRD) has been a source of dispute between Ethiopia and lower riparian countries (Egypt and Sudan).
Before its departure to Khartoum, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has briefed the delegation on the current political, diplomatic, security and commercial relations of the two countries.
Desalegn said the government to government relations between Sudan and Ethiopia are at their best and are based on a win-win partnership to benefit peoples of both sides.
He highly praised the Government of Sudan’s commitment and support to Ethiopia on the equitable and reasonable utilisation of the Nile River.
“Ethiopia and Sudan share mutual vision and destiny,” Desalegn told the delegation .
Khartoum supported the construction of the Renaissance Dam. Sudan also played a decisive role to ease the tensions caused by this project between Cairo and Addis Ababa.
Late in March, leaders of the three countries met in Khartoum where they signed an agreement of regional cooperation and development between the three countries.
After meeting the Ethiopian Public Diplomacy Delegation, al-Fatih Izzaldin, Speaker of the National Assembly of Sudan, said the “visit showcases the strong and multi-faceted relations between the peoples of Ethiopia and Sudan”.
Izzaldin further noted that Ethiopia and Sudan have a conjoined destiny and hoped the visit would scale up bilateral relations in all aspects.
Ethiopian Ambassador to Sudan, Abadi Zemo to his part said relations between Khartoum and Addis Ababa were exemplary and could be taken as a model in the East African region.
The Ethiopian public delegation comprises of members of Parliament, representatives of political parties, diplomats, religious leaders, officials, academics, business community, journalists and prominent artists, among others.