UAE strongman Mohammad bin Zayed plans to visit Cairo to discuss Ethiopian dam: reports
The sources said there was a strong link between the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi's reported upcoming visit and the UAE's attempts to mediate Egypt's dispute with Ethiopia over the Great Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile.
The talks are also expected to cover Libya, Egypt's improving relations with Turkey, and UAE investment in Egypt.
Though Abu Dhabi backed current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's 2013 military coup which overthrew former leader Mohammad Morsi, the Egyptian-UAE alliance has been strained in recent years, with the Nile becoming a new source of tension.
The UAE offered to mediate between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt in January, according to Sudan's official news agency SUNA but Cairo fears that its proposals will mean that it will lose out in negotiations with Ethiopia.
Egyptian sources previously told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that Cairo is concerned that Abu Dhabi may favour Ethiopia over Egypt in the bitter dispute over the GERD.
Egypt and Sudan are increasingly fearful that the giant Ethiopian dam could cut off their supply of Nile water and interfere with the functioning of their own Nile dams, with potentiall catastrophic consequences.
In early April, Sisi warned of a potential conflict over the dam after African Union sponsored talks in Kinshasa to resolve the dispute once again faltered.
Ethiopia is set to proceed with a unilateral second filling of the dam in July, a move strongly opposed by both Egypt and Sudan.
On Monday, Egypt's Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources said that Ethiopia’s unilateral measures could cause great harm to downstream Nile countries.