Eritrea’s president Isaias in Ethiopia to ‘enhance’ cooperation, relations

In a little over one year, Eritrea’s president Isaias arrived in Ethiopia for a third time – for an official working visit.

Eritrea's president Isaias _ Ethiopia

December 25, 2019

Two days after meeting with United Arab Emirates’ Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zaid Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi, Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki has arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for an official working visit on Wednesday in the morning.

Eritrean Foreign Minister, Osman Saleh, and his top political adviser Yemane Gebreab  have accompanied him.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other high level government officials have received warmly the Eritrean president and his delegation up on arrival at Bole International Airport.

Bilateral relations and other issues in the region are major topics of discussions between the leaders of the two countries, according to information from Eritrean Minister for Information, Yemane Gebreab. On Wednesday, he tweeted : 

“President Isaias Afwerki departed, this morning, to Ethiopia for a working visit on the invitation of PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed.  The two leaders will discuss enhancement of important bilateral & regional matters. Presidential entourage includes FM Osman Saleh & Pre. Adviser Yemane G/ab” 

Ethiopian government owned media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, reported the two leaders already held discussion. Apparently, it was a closed one and  between the two leaders only. 

President Isaias Afeworki has repeatedly visited Ethiopia in a little over a year after the two decades hostile relations came to an end in July 2018, months after the ruling coalition in Ethiopia elected Abiy Ahmed as prime minister. 

Since then the two countries have been working on strengthening a bilateral relations for mutual benefits in a  range of areas. 

Following peace agreement, hundreds and thousands of families who were separated during the years of hostility have reunited. The two countries have reopened their respective embassies in Asmara and Addis Ababa, telephone line between the two countries were reactivated and  aviation restarted. 

Last year, Eritrean cultural troupe toured Ethiopia with the objective to foster people to people relations. Likewise, Ethiopian cultural troupe traveled to Eritrea this week, and showed concerts in Asmara, Massawa and Keren. 

Abiy Ahmed hailed Eritrean people and the Eritrean president, during his Nobel Lecture at Oslo City Council last month, for the success of the peace agreement between the two countries. 

However, multifaceted agreements that the two countries have been working on are not yet finalized, and much is not known as to why it is so. 

At one point, there was even a talk that the relation between the two countries is already stalled to the point that Eritrea has closed borders again. 

President Isaias’ visit is expected to revitalize the relation between the two countries and for the finalization of agreements in a range of areas. 

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