ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu on Friday asserted the need to strengthen the long-standing ties between Ethiopia and Egypt.
In his meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Friday, Gebeyehu called for strengthening ties between the two African countries, according to a statement issued by the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
According to the statement, the two foreign ministers discussed bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest and the areas of discussion revolved around strengthening cooperation and partnership to cement the ties between the two countries.
Gebeyehu also invited Egyptian companies to invest in the east African country, it was indicated.
The two foreign ministers also underscored the need for Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt to work together to further strengthen the people-to-people relations of the two countries, the statement indicated.
The Egyptian foreign minister, who underscored his country's firm stance to acknowledge Ethiopia's interest, also affirmed his country's commitment to cooperate with Ethiopia on regional issues, according to the statement issued by the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The diplomatic relations among Ethiopia and Egypt is largely intertwined with the Blue Nile River that originates from Ethiopia and shared among Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.
The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the river, which will be regarded as Africa's largest dam upon completion with a total volume of 74,000 million cubic meters, has been a major issue between the two countries since its commencement in April 2011 with a construction cost of 80 billion Ethiopian birr (close to 4.7 billion U.S. dollars).
Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have formed a tripartite committee back in 2012 to create understanding and look into the benefits and impacts the project would have on the three countries.