Presidency, Church prepare joint Ethiopia trip to discuss controversial dam

Egypt's presidency and the Coptic Orthodox Church are coordinating for a joint trip to Ethiopia by President Mohamed Morsy and Pope Tawadros II, where they will discuss with Ethiopian officials a means to resolve a dispute over Ethiopia's Millennium Dam.

Last week, Ethiopia announced the diversion of the Blue Nile's stream as a step towards beginning work on its Millennium Dam. However, the declaration and the project in general prompted apprehension by Egypt and Sudan that it would affect their shares of water which they obtained under British occupation.

Both the presidency and the church are arranging for a meeting by Morsy and Tawadros II to be held after the latter returns from his current visit to Austria, stated sources.

Tawadros II welcomed requests for him to interfere with Abune Mathias of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and appeals for his support for Egypt's bid to preserve its share of Nile waters, the sources added. Egypt's pope is scheduled to meet with his Ethiopian counterpart on 19 June in Cairo to congratulate him on his ordination.

Tawadros II had delegated Archbishop Daniel of Maadi to attend Morsy's meeting with political figures on Monday, where ways to handle the crisis are currently being discussed.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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