EGYPT DENIES ACCUSATIONS OF SUPPORTING ETHIOPIAN ARMED OPPOSITION

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry denied Ethiopian accusations that it supports the country’s armed opposition.

Earlier in the day, Ethiopia accused elements in Eritrea, Egypt and other states, of arming, training and funding groups, that it blames for a wave of protests and violence that led the country to declare a state of emergency.

“The Egyptian Foreign Ministry reaffirmed its absolute respect for Ethiopia’s sovereignty, and non-intervention in its internal affairs,” the ministry’s spokesman, Ahmed Abu Zeid, said, in a press statement.

Abu Zeid said, high-level contacts are being made with Addis Ababa, to preserve the positive environment and the gains that were achieved in bilateral relations during the recent period.

The spokesman also urged vigilance against any attempts, to harm the brotherly relations between Egypt and Ethiopia, at the governmental and popular levels.

The ongoing contacts between Egypt and Ethiopia, reflected their mutual recognition of the special nature of the relations between both countries, and their shared interests and destiny, the spokesman said.

Last week, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry summoned Egypt’s ambassador for discussions, over an online video, purportedly showing an Egyptian sharing a stage with members of the outlawed rebel group, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

“The video could possibly be circulated by parties that seek to sow discord and drive a wedge between Egypt and Ethiopia,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

The OLF is an Ethiopian organisation, established in 1973 by Oromo nationalists, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, to promote self-determination for the Oromo people. It has been designated a terrorist organisation by the Ethiopian government.

On Sunday, Ethiopia declared a six-month state of emergency, over anticipated threats “posed by forces working in collaboration with foreign enemies, to undermine the safety of the people and security and stability of the country,” the Ethiopian News Agency reported.

Tension has overshadowed Egypt-Ethiopia relations, since Addis Ababa started in 2013, to divert a tributary of the River Nile, as a preparatory step to build its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), amid Egyptian concerns that the damming may affect Egypt’s 55.5 billion-cubic-metre annual share of the river’s water.

However, Egypt and its fellow downstream Nile Basin country, Sudan, gradually showed more understanding of Ethiopia’s development aspirations, and the Ethiopian side showed commitment to cooperation and abiding by recommendations, deriving from technical studies while building the dam.

On Sept 20, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia signed contracts with two consultancy offices, to conduct further technical studies on the dam.

Extending on an area of 1,800 square kilometres, the GERD is scheduled to be completed in three years, at a cost of 4.7 billion U.S. dollars.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.