CAIRO – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met at the Presidential Palace in Cairo Saturday the President of the Democratic Republic Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, the current head of the African Union.
Attending the meeting on the Egyptian side were Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Mohamed Abdel A’ti and Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamel.
President Sisi and President Tshisekedi held a one-to-one meeting and were then joined by officials from their own countries, Presidency Spokesman, Ambassador Bassam Radi said.
The president expressed Egypt’s high esteem of its historical relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo and its keenness on enhancing bilateral cooperation in all fields, he added.
President Tshisekedi, for his part, said his country also valued its extended relations with Egypt, especially in the light of the central role Cairo plays in boosting regional peace and security.
Kinshasa, he said, is also keen on pushing its relations with Cairo in all fields forward.
Ambassador Radi said talks between the two leaders focused on developments on Ethiopia’s Nile dam, widely known as GERD.
President Sisi expressed appreciation of the efforts President Tshisekedi made in this regard, Ambassador Radi said.
The president also expressed confidence in the ability of the Congolese president to deal with the dam issue in the best possible way.
Egypt is keen on boosting these efforts within the framework of the negotiations sponsored by the Democratic Republic of Congo, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the African Union, and with participation from international partners on the road to reaching a legally-binding agreement on the filling and the operation of the Ethiopian dam, Ambassador Radi quoted the Egyptian leader as saying.
President Sisi said Egypt would not tolerate any harm to its water security, he added.
He noted that the president also called for reaching a legally-binding agreement on the dam, one that preserves Egypt’s water rights and keeps tensions and instability away from the region.
President Tshisekedi vowed to intensify coordination on the dam issue, describing it as a “sensitive” one, Ambassador Radi said.
He said he would work to help all parties to make progress in trilateral negotiations on the dam, praising the efforts Egypt makes to reach a fair and balanced deal that preserves the rights of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, the presidency spokesman added.