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Sisi to Ethiopian Parliament: Let’s turn a new leaf

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke at the Ethiopian Parliament on Wednesday, calling for Egypt and Ethiopia to put aside their past disagreements and cooperate to ensure the prosperity of both countries.

Both administrations had exchanged hostile statements since Ethiopia’s plan to build the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was unveiled, with Egypt raising concerns that the dam would diminish its share of Nile water.

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia had signed a trilateral “declaration of principles” agreement on the Ethiopian dam on Monday.

In his speech, Sisi asserting that he came with a message of love and cooperation.

He expressed a desire to turn a new leaf in the relationship between the two states. Sisi acknowledged the recent tension, saying both countries should learn from the hurdles of the past.

“We need to build bridges of trust and fill the gaps of mistrust that we shouldn’t have allowed to fester or to create a barrier between us,” he said, adding that the responsibility for this falls on the intellectual elite and media personalities of both countries, in addition to their political leadership.

Sisi said the opportunity has to be seized for the two countries to unite against common challenges, including terrorism, which he said travels across borders and requires the cooperation of countries across the area to combat it.

Sisi asserted that Egypt and Ethiopia are the two pillars of the African continent and that they will work together to ensure prosperity for both.