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Sisi and Biden discuss food security, energy in first meeting

EGYPTIAN President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi discussed food security and disruptions to energy supplies with U.S. President Joe Biden as they met for the first time on Saturday on the sidelines of an Arab summit in Jeddah, the Egyptian presidency said.

The two leaders also addressed ways to revive a Palestinian peace process, and Egypt’s efforts to secure a legally binding agreement over the operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a statement from the Egyptian presidency said.

Egypt has come under sharp financial pressure due to global price increases for commodities including wheat and oil that accelerated after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Cairo has been seeking a deal for years over the GERD, which Egypt says could put at risk its scarce water supplies. The dam is under construction on Ethiopia’s Blue Nile and Ethiopia started filling the reservoir behind the dam two years ago.

Relations between Egypt and the United States were uneasy in the first months of the Biden presidency amid differences on human rights, before Egypt’s efforts to broker a ceasefire in Gaza in May 2021 prompted re-engagement.

By The African Mirror