Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with Ethiopia s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the sidelines of the of the Russia-Africa Summit held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Thursday.
The current talks between the two leaders discussed a number of issues of mutual concern as well as challenges facing the region.
The meeting lasted around 45 minutes and took place "in a positive atmosphere," and Egyptian diplomatic source source told AFP, without providing details.
Meanwhile the Kremlen announced Thursday that Russian President Valdimir Putin offered to mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia on the Grand Renaissance Ethiopian Dam issue. The Russian offer comes two days after Egypt s Foreign Ministry said that has accepted an invitation from the US administration to host a meeting of the foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in Washington to discuss the GERD, without specifying dates.
Last week Ethiopia affirmed its firm stands not to accept any mediation other than the tripartite consultations on the filling and operation of GERD. The Office of the Prime Minister has also announced that Ethiopia stands ready to resolve any differences and outstanding concerns by consultation among the three riparian countries.
In the same statement, Egypt Foreign Ministry said it was “shocked by” the statements attributed to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed before the Ethiopian parliament, which included “negative signals and unacceptable hints” on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue.
Ahmed said on Tuesday that his country is ready to mobilise "millions" if it comes to war over the construction of the mega-dam Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile, though he stressed that settling the dispute through negotiations is in everyone s best interest.
Tensions have been building up between Egypt and Ethiopia in recent weeks after talks on the technical details governing the operation of the dam failed to make progress.
Egypt fears that the Ethiopian dam will diminish its water supply, which is dependent on the Nile, and has been pushing for an agreement it will fill the reservoir slowly, to avoid this.
But Ethiopia maintains that the hydroelectric dam, which is nearly 70 percent complete, will not restrict the river’s flow and while Egypt is requesting a period of seven years Addis Ababa insists on a three-year filling time,.
Earlier this month, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s office said the two leaders had agreed in a phone call to overcome any obstacles facing negotiations on the operation of the dam. The call came after El-Sisi had congratulated Ahmed on Facebook on winning the Nobel.