President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi received yesterday in the presidential palace Abune Mathias I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahedo Church and the delegation accompanying him from the Ethiopian Church. Abune Mathias is on a six-day visit to Egypt in response to an invitation extended to him by the Coptic Orthodox patriarch. Pope Tawadros II and Ms Fayza Aboul Naga, the President’s advisor on national security attended the meeting.
According to presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef, the meeting between President Sisi and Abune Mathias was warm, and both expressed their wishes for further cooperation between the Egyptian the Ethiopian peoples.
Abune Mathias conveyed his appreciation of President’s Sisi reception of him and the delegation accompanying him. He stressed that the strong Egyptian-Ethiopian ties go back a very long time in history, are specially significant on the spiritual and religious sides, and that the Nile is one common blessing God has bestowed on both countries. President Sisi responded that Egypt will never stand in the way of the Ethiopians’ right for development based on the Nile waters, but stressed that the Nile was also the lifeblood of Egypt. It is very important to resort to practical and legal procedures in order to ensure both countries’ interests regarding the Nile, President Sisi said. Egypt is now in a new phase of reaching out to African countries, especially Ethiopia.
During the meeting, Youssef said, Pope Tawadros spoke about the historical ties between Egypt and Ethiopia, and talked about the projects carried out by the Coptic Orthodox Church in Ethiopia; projects which, he said, served Ethiopia in the fields of education and health.
Abune Mathias promised to work on spreading love, peace and cooperation between the two countries, especially among the young people. He said the Ethiopian Church valued the results of the visit of the Ethiopian youth delegation to Cairo last December, and that the delegation returned to Addis Ababa with positive impressions. He extended an invitation on the part of the Ethiopian people to President Sisi to visit Addis Ababa, which the President warmly welcomed.
13 January 2015