Abiy Ahmed, Isaias Afewerki in Juba Today
March 4, 2019 (Ezega.com) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki are in Juba today, where they’ll hold Talks with President Salva Kiir as reported by the Sudan Tribune. Mr. Kiir was forced to cut short his tour of the Greater el Ghazal region, and come back to Juba to welcome the two visiting leaders.
The one day visit comes at a time when there are concerted efforts to consolidate economic and political integration in the East African region, which has been elusive for a long time because it’s volatile in regard to regional collaboration.
Also, the visit comes a day after Ethiopian Premier and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta visited Asmara where they held bilateral talks with President Isaias Afwerki on regional issues.
In a statement issued yesterday by the South Sudan Minister for Information, Michael Makuei, the visit by the two regional leaders aims at strengthening relations between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and South Sudan.
Makuei further suggested the two leaders will begin their state visit in the morning and will be received by the President of South Sudan at Juba International Airport. After that, they’ll go to State House where they’ll have a meeting before issuing a joint statement to the members of the press. They’ll then leave in the afternoon.
“After the end of the joint press statement, the meeting will end and out guests will depart,” said Makuei.
Following the visit by Abiy and Afwerki, Mr. Makuei, who’s also the government spokesperson urged residents to turn out in large numbers to welcome the two leaders in the capital.
“Citizens are expected to assemble on the road that comes from the airport up to the Mudiria roundabout and from the roundabout up to J1 at 8:30 am,” he said.
In August last year, President Salva Kiir visited Eritrea where he held talks with his Eritrean counterpart on bilateral and regional issues affecting the two countries.
Abiy in Khartoum:
The office of the president of Sudan issued a statement on Sunday suggesting Ethiopian Premier will arrive In Khartoum airport to meet with President Omer al-Bashir.
It further suggested the premier will depart at 09:00 am and called on members of the press to be present before he departs.
Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea have experienced turmoil recently. Though the motive of the meeting is to strengthen bilateral ties between the four countries, it's unknown whether recent calls for President al-Bashir to relinquish power will be mentioned during the meeting.