Eritrean President on Official Working Visit to Ethiopia

By Staff Reporter

Isaias-Afewerki-Abiy-AhmedDecember 25, 2019 (Ezega.om) -- Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki is on his second official working visit to Ethiopia after the two neighboring states ended their two decades of enmity last year.

President Isaias was greeted by Prime Minister Abiy and other senior government officials at Bole International Airport. The Eritrean delegation included Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Gebreab, among the others.

The Eritrean delegation has visited Unity Park at the national palace, Sheger Beautifying Project Entoto, Entoto Observatory and research center and other infrastructure development activities in Addis Ababa and its environs.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed praised President Issaias in his address after receiving the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, describing him as a “partner and comrade in peace”.

The two leaders have resolved the 20 years impasse between the two countries following the 2018 peace treaty signed in Asmara.  

Even though the two sides signed a number of deals to end the state of war, establish a new era of peace, friendship, and comprehensive cooperation, little progress was made on implementing and institutionalizing the relations between the two countries. Rather uncertainty and suspicion were creeping back.

The coarse relations between the Eritrean government and Ethiopia’s Tigray regional administration and closure of border roads linking the two neighboring states as well as the absence of a clear trade policy between them have gravely affected the people-to-people and the emerging trade relations.

As part of their deal, there were two important provisions. One called for “the establishment of joint special economic zones. The other was a pledge to establish a high-level joint committee, as well as sub-committees, which, according to the two parties, were needed to guide and oversee the implementation of this agreement.

But there has been little apparent progress on either front wherein economic co-operation was probably one of the key drivers of this reconciliation. They included plans to develop a massive potash mine that would straddle the border. But little has been heard of the project in recent months.

What has become clear is the warming up of relations between the two countries a year ago has largely gone unless the two leaders come up with a new solution in this round of talks with a special focus of rectifying the underlying problems between the leaders of Eritrea and Tigray regional state.

In another development, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has decided to issue a certificate of recognition to the newly merged party – the Prosperity Party (PP).

The Prosperity Party was formed after the merger of three of the four parties that made up the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and five affiliate regional parties.

The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), a founding member of the EPRDF, has been accusing the government in Addis Ababa of failing to meet the legal requirements and procedures to replace the EPRDF with Prosperity Party.

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