Egyptian Coptic pope discusses Nile crisis with Ethiopian counterpart

Head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III
Head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III

Mena, Almasryalyom

The head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, received a phone call from Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch Abune Paulos in which they discussed Nile water, according to the Egyptian state news agency MENA.

During the phone call, they tackled positive developments made by both states since Egypt’s 25 January revolution, a papal office source told MENA.

Shenouda lauded Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi for suspending his country’s adherence to the Entebbe treaty signed last year by a number of Nile Basin countries, which aimed to redistribute the water.

Ethiopia had announced delaying its participation in the Entebbe agreement until Egypt ran its parliamentary and presidential elections.

During the phone call, Shenouda highlighted the role played by the Egyptian and Ethiopian churches in preserving the rights of both countries to Nile waters, as well as encouraging collaboration in agriculture and water issues.

A crisis had erupted between Egypt and Ethiopia after the latter announced the creation of its Millennium Dam on the Nile’s stream. Egypt and Sudan fear the dam would affect their water shares.

Early April, Shenouda began communications with Ethiopian counterparts to urge the Ethiopian church in to convince the government to refrain from escalating the Nile crisis with Egypt and Sudan.

Translated from the Arabic Edition