Nov 20, 2020 CAIRO — While 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 concerning 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 Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry obtained 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 Foreign Affairs, stated in a press assertion Nov. 18 that the assembly tackled the present state of affairs within the Horn of Africa and methods to take care of the challenges related to it on numerous ranges. Shoukry harassed in the course of 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 support for all efforts aimed at strengthening peace and security in this region, which is a basic pillar of regional and continental security.” According to 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 People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) bombed the Eritrean capital Asmara airport Nov. 14. On Nov. 3, the Ethiopian Federal Government’s army motion escalated towards the native forces within the Tigray area, inflicting a whole bunch of deaths and displacing 1000’s of individuals outdoors 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 Foreign Affairs, advised Al-Monitor that Egypt seeks to stay at an equal distance from the events to the battle in order that its stance just isn’t misinterpreted as gloating about what is going on in Ethiopia, as a result of that is an inner Ethiopian affair, and Egypt stands in a essential place as a result of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) disaster. Speaking concerning 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 near the Eritrean border in Tigray. He stated Eritrea is consulting with Cairo for Egypt to supply help primarily based on its lengthy expertise in Africa and to place ahead initiatives via the African Union (AU) to settle the Ethiopian disaster. Hassan harassed that Egypt is eager on the steadiness of Sudan and Eritrea, since there are issues concerning the Ethiopian battle spreading to neighboring nations comparable to Eritrea, whose airport was bombed, and Sudan, to which 1000’s of Ethiopian refugees have flocked to flee the battle. The TPLF accuses Eritrea of taking part with the Ethiopian military within the ongoing army operation within the area since Ahmed has had good ties with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki for the reason that signing of the 2018 peace settlement between them, for which Ahmed gained the Nobel Peace Prize. At the identical 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 Center for Political and Strategic Studies, advised 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, mentioning 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 accordance 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. However, she dominated out the opportunity of Egypt offering army help to Eritrea within the battle, given Egypt’s conventional historic coverage of distancing itself from inter-ethnic conflicts in Africa. “If the conflict were to grow, it would not be in Egypt’s best interests … it needs Ethiopia to be a stable country, be it to resolve the GERD crisis or other issues,” Tawil famous. The escalation of the disaster in Ethiopia comes at a time when Addis Ababa is dealing with a serious 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 challenge. For his half, Riccardo Fabiani, a researcher on African affairs on the International Crisis Group, advised Al-Monitor, “The recent visit is an attempt by Cairo to directly engage diplomatically in the current crisis in Ethiopia, which has had some repercussions in Eritrea as well.” However, he doubted that Egypt would wish to present army help to Eritrea, as a result of “Cairo still needs an agreement with Addis Ababa regarding the GERD, and Egypt either supporting the TPLF or encouraging Eritrea to intervene will only undermine its already strained relationship with Ethiopia.” Fabiani added, “Ethiopia’s fragility and instability make the settlement with Egypt and Sudan harder. Besides, 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 International Relations Naledi Pandor, who chairs the present AU Executive Council session, within the presence of the Irrigation and Foreign Ministers from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, after the final spherical of negotiations held Nov. four faltered. In a press release 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 may final for the subsequent 10 days, whereas Sudan expressed its reservation on the invitation, which it thought of “useless,” and known as for persevering with negotiations in accordance with a brand new methodology that provides a higher position for AU consultants to bridge the hole between the three nations. Meanwhile, Egypt harassed in the course of the assembly “the importance of resuming negotiations in order to reach as soon as possible a binding legal agreement on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, expressing its aspiration to participate in the next round of negotiations.” “Cairo is well-aware that internal instability makes Addis Ababa less flexible in negotiations, so I would not be surprised if Egypt asked Eritrea to avoid responding to the recent bombing and stay out of the conflict,” Fabiani stated.