May 18 2011

Pope Shenouda, Patriarch Abune Paulos talked by telephone on Nile issue

Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark Episcopate, received a telephone call from Patriarch Abune Paulos of Ethiopian Orthodox Church on Tuesday, according to several Egyptian news outlets.

According to the news, the two leaders discussed ‘the positive developments in relations between the two countries after the January 25 revolution.’

The conversation then turned to the issue of the Nile waters.

Pope praised the decision of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to postpone the signing of the ratification of the CFA(Cooperative Framework Agreement) until the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in Egypt.

Pope Shenouda  pointed to the importance of the role of the two churches to maintain the rights of every state in the waters of the Nile and to promote cooperation common in the areas of water, agriculture and others for the benefit of the two peoples.

It is to be recalled that Pope Shinouda had planned to visit Ethiopian Orthodox Church in a bid to influence the Ethiopian government position on Nile utilization issue.

However, the Pope failed to take part in the 48 member public diplomacy delegation that recently visited Ethiopia – probably on health reasons.

However, the delegation visited the Ethiopian Orthodox Church during their stay in Addis, according to the report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A Week in the Horn reported on May 6/2011,:

The delegation also met with his Holiness, Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church while Ethiopian Christians were celebrating the festival of Dagmawi Tensaè. In his address to the congregation, His Holiness elaborated the historical and cultural ties between Ethiopia and Egypt. Members of the delegation, including both Muslim and Christian representatives, delivered speeches on the links between the two countries. The delegation and the congregation prayed together for both Ethiopia and Egypt.

[This news will be updated if and when further details are reported.]