CAIRO — Whereas the battle rages within the Ethiopian Tigray area, a high-ranking delegation from Eritrea arrived in Cairo Nov. 17 for a go to that raised questions in regards to the Egyptian place on the continued battle in Ethiopia and the motives behind the Eritrean ally’s go to at the moment.
On Nov. 18, Egyptian International Minister Sameh Shoukry received his Eritrean counterpart, Othman Saleh, and the political adviser to Eritrean President Yamani Jabr Ab at Tahrir Palace in Cairo.
Ahmed Hafez, a spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of International Affairs, stated in a press assertion Nov. 18 that the assembly tackled the present scenario within the Horn of Africa and methods to take care of the challenges related to it on varied ranges.
Shoukry confused throughout the assembly Cairo’s “nice curiosity within the stability of the area and its keenness to observe up on present developments,” expressing “Egypt’s full help for all efforts aimed toward strengthening peace and safety on this area, which is a primary pillar of regional and continental safety.”
In line with analysts who spoke to Al-Monitor, the delegation visited Eritrea’s historic ally, Cairo, to request help and help and to tell it of developments within the battle on the sector after the Tigray Folks’s Liberation Entrance (TPLF) bombed the Eritrean capital Asmara airport Nov. 14.
On Nov. 3, the Ethiopian Federal Authorities’s navy motion escalated in opposition to the native forces within the Tigray area, inflicting a whole bunch of deaths and displacing hundreds of individuals exterior the borders towards Sudan.
The Ethiopian battle was met with silence on the official Egyptian degree, however Egyptian media near the federal government criticized the conduct of Nobel Peace Prize winner Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for fueling the battle in his nation.
Rakha Hassan, member of the Egyptian Council for International Affairs, instructed Al-Monitor that Egypt seeks to stay at an equal distance from the events to the battle in order that its stance shouldn’t be misinterpreted as gloating about what is occurring in Ethiopia, as a result of that is an inside Ethiopian affair, and Egypt stands in a vital place because of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) disaster.
Talking in regards to the go to of the Eritrean delegation to Cairo, Hassan famous that it’s linked to discussions on bilateral relations and cooperation with Eritrea within the technical and experience fields, in addition to consultations on the situations of the Horn of Africa and the present battle close to the Eritrean border in Tigray.
He stated Eritrea is consulting with Cairo for Egypt to supply help based mostly on its lengthy expertise in Africa and to place ahead initiatives by way of the African Union (AU) to settle the Ethiopian disaster.
Hassan confused that Egypt is eager on the steadiness of Sudan and Eritrea, since there are considerations in regards to the Ethiopian battle spreading to neighboring nations corresponding to Eritrea, whose airport was bombed, and Sudan, to which hundreds of Ethiopian refugees have flocked to flee the battle.
The TPLF accuses Eritrea of taking part with the Ethiopian military within the ongoing navy operation within the area since Ahmed has had good ties with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki because the signing of the 2018 peace settlement between them, for which Ahmed gained the Nobel Peace Prize.
On the similar time, Egypt has shut historic relations with Eritrea, as the previous performed the biggest position in supporting the latter for about three a long time till Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1991.
Amani al-Tawil, a researcher on the government-affiliated Al-Ahram Heart for Political and Strategic Research, instructed Al-Monitor that the go to of the Eritrean delegation involves put Cairo within the image of developments on the bottom within the Tigray area, declaring the media blackout and the conflicting details about the battle there.
She added that the go to would possibly specific Eritrea’s need to coordinate with Egypt and Sudan in line with the brand new stability of energy, noting that on Nov. 14, the Egyptian and Sudanese armies started conducting first-time joint air maneuvers at Sudan’s Lt. Gen. Awad Khalafallah Air Base in Merowe and can proceed till Nov. 26.
Nonetheless, she dominated out the opportunity of Egypt offering navy help to Eritrea within the battle, given Egypt’s conventional historic coverage of distancing itself from inter-ethnic conflicts in Africa.
“If the battle had been to develop, it might not be in Egypt’s finest pursuits … it wants Ethiopia to be a secure nation, be it to resolve the GERD disaster or different points,” Tawil famous.
The escalation of the disaster in Ethiopia comes at a time when Addis Ababa is dealing with a significant dispute with Cairo over the GERD, which Egypt considers an existential menace, as the 2 nations, together with Sudan, have been engaged in arduous negotiations for a decade over this subject.
For his half, Riccardo Fabiani, a researcher on African affairs on the Worldwide Disaster Group, instructed Al-Monitor, “The current go to is an try by Cairo to instantly have interaction diplomatically within the present disaster in Ethiopia, which has had some repercussions in Eritrea as nicely.”
Nonetheless, he doubted that Egypt would need to present navy help to Eritrea, as a result of “Cairo nonetheless wants an settlement with Addis Ababa relating to the GERD, and Egypt both supporting the TPLF or encouraging Eritrea to intervene will solely undermine its already strained relationship with Ethiopia.”
Fabiani added, “Ethiopia’s fragility and instability make the settlement with Egypt and Sudan harder. Moreover, Ahmed’s weak point signifies that he won’t settle for a settlement with Cairo relating to the GERD.”
Amid the continued combating in Tigray, a brand new spherical of the AU-sponsored GERD negotiations began Nov. 19 on the invitation of South African Minister of Worldwide Relations Naledi Pandor, who chairs the present AU Govt Council session, within the presence of the Irrigation and International Ministers from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, after the final spherical of negotiations held Nov. 4 faltered.
In an announcement after the assembly, the Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation stated that Pandor requested to proceed negotiations on the Renaissance Dam in a brand new spherical that can final for the subsequent 10 days, whereas Sudan expressed its reservation on the invitation, which it thought of “ineffective,” and known as for persevering with negotiations in line with a brand new methodology that provides a larger position for AU consultants to bridge the hole between the three nations.
In the meantime, Egypt confused throughout the assembly “the significance of resuming negotiations so as to attain as quickly as doable a binding authorized settlement on filling and working the Renaissance Dam, expressing its aspiration to take part within the subsequent spherical of negotiations.”
“Cairo is well-aware that inside instability makes Addis Ababa much less versatile in negotiations, so I might not be shocked if Egypt requested Eritrea to keep away from responding to the current bombing and keep out of the battle,” Fabiani stated.