Thursday, August 27, 2020

Ethiopian PM Claims “Working Visit to Sudan a Success”

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed And Sudanese PM Abdella Hamdok in Khartoum. Photo credit : Office of the PM


August 25, 2020

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his delegation arrived in Addis Ababa on Tuesday in the evening after what he called a “successful working visit to Sudan.”

The visit was intended to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. Ethiopia’s Mega Dam Project and the border between the two countries caused a noticeable strain in the relations of the two countries.

A report by the Sudan Tribune on Monday said the “bilateral relations have been recently affected by the Ethiopian position in the tripartite process on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).”  It was explained in terms of what it called “Ethiopian intransigence” ,seemingly on issues related to filling and operation of the Dam. The result was that “Sudan to adopt coordinated positions with Egypt in the talks amid international pressure on Addis Ababa to review on the filling and operation.”

During his stay, Abiy met with the Chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and Abdalla Hamdok, prime minister of Sudan.

According to the office of the Prime Minister, the discussion with the Chairman of the Transitional Council focused on issues of mutual interest and strengthened cooperation.

Abiy wrote on his social media page on “Pleased to have met with Lt. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council. Our discussions centered on key issues of interest for both countries.”

The issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was a key agenda item during his talk with Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdella Hamdok.

Mr. Abdella said, “What we can accomplish together can serve as a train motor for the integration of the region.” He is scheduled to visit Ethiopian next month and Abiy Ahmed proposed that the two leaders visit the GERD site during his next visit.

Abiy Ahmed on his part said in a message on social media: “The bonds of our historic ties are unbreakable. I reaffirmed Ethiopia’s solidarity with Sudan to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in our discussions today in Khartoum. Our commitment to economic integration, joint progress, and regional stability remains, as we explore the abundant opportunities to enhance our bilateral ties.”

Ethiopia’s new foreign policy gives emphasis to the importance of regional integration and security in the region and sees Sudan as one of the key allies in the region.  Last week, Ethiopia started training all its diplomats on the new policy.

Leaders of the two countries have issued a joint communiqué following the meeting between the delegations of the two countries, and both countries have agreed “to do everything in their power for the successful conclusion of the tripartite talks [between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt]”

Ethiopia appointed Yibeltal Aemro as the new Ambassador to Sudan, and he presented his letter of credence to Abdel Fattah al-Burhan last week.

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