Sudan, Ethiopia.. Close Relations in All Fields

By Hana Abdul Hai

hms bashirPresidents of Both Countries Commit to Applying All Signed Activities
The two-day visit of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, to Sudan starkly highlighted the great development in the relations of Sudan and Ethiopia.
The visit’s purpose was to convene meetings of the High Joint Committee, meetings which had not been held in 4 years. The visit produced 14 agreements in different fields.

Meetings

The expert panels met starting December 1st, with Sudan’s side headed by Ambassador Abdulmahmoud Abdulhalim, and discussed and formulated the different agreements to be signed in different fields.
Ministers of specialization signed respective agreements on the final day of the meetings in the presence of President Omer Al Bashir and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
An agreement in air transportation was signed by the Sudanese minister of defense and the Ethiopian minister of transport. Another in security cooperation was signed by the Sudanese minister of interior and Ethiopian minister of Federal Governance. A third in combating human trafficking was signed by the Sudanese minister of interior and Ethiopian minister of foreign affairs. A fourth in legal cooperation was signed by the Sudanese and Ethiopian ministers of justice. A host of other agreements were signed as well on the same day relating to cooperation in passenger transport, railway development, federal governance, women, youth, and children affairs, customs, banking, and executive cooperation in higher education.
Visit of Sudanese president and Ethiopian prime minister to Gedarif
The Ethiopian prime minister arrived in Khartoum on December 3rd and headed on December 4th to Gedarif in the company of the Sudanese president to inaugurate the electrical linkage project between Gedarif in Sudan and Shaheedi in Ethiopia. The project covers a length of 321 kilometers and had cost $35m. The project aims to increase the stability of the local and national electrical networks, reduce thermal electricity generation, supply electricity to border villages, and reinforce economic relations between the two countries.

Short visit to Meroe

The prime minister’s delegation visited Meroe briefly and was amazed by the magnitude of the achievement which had led to the construction of Meroe Dam.
Governor of the Northern State, Ibrahim Alkhidir, informed that the Ethiopian prime minister saw during the visit the changes that Meroe Dam had resulted in the area economically and socially.
Concluding the visit
Returning to the Friendship Hall, the Ethiopian prime minister signed an agreement with the Sudanese president on investment and trade.
He then thanked the people and government of Sudan for their hospitality.
“A number of important issues were discussed during the visit and several agreements were signed to reinforce the fraternal relationship between the two countries.” the visiting dignitary said.
He added that huge potential was available to realize the agreements and wished that peace will prevail over the Horn of Africa region so as to pave the way for exploiting the huge latent resources.


Press conference

At the end of the visit, the Sudanese president Omer Al Bashir and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn held a press conference in which they affirmed the two countries’ desire to realize integration between them and to go ahead with efforts to realize security and stability in the Horn of Africa. They also condemned the acts of the Somali group “Alshabab”.
President Al Bashir said the two countries are committed to implementing the 14 agreements which had been signed and added that a great shift in relations between the two countries had taken place. The strong political will in Sudan and Ethiopia will remove the obstacles hindering cooperation between them.
Al-Bashir also said they agreed to exert any effort necessary to eliminate tensions among the countries of the region, especially given Sudan’s geographical location which serves as a meeting point for the peoples of these countries and its good relations with the countries of the region, indicating Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Africa’s stance concerning the International Criminal Court (ICC)

As head of the African Union (AU), the Ethiopian prime minister announced that the AU will convene an urgent session before January to spell out Africa’s stance concerning the ICC which he said targets Africa leaders following the UNSC’s rejection of a resolution to concerning the ICC.
Commenting on the remarks of the visiting prime minister, Al Bashir said the ICC is one of the mechanisms of a new colonialism.

Free zone

During the visit of the two heads of state to Gedarif, it was agreed to establish a free zone half of which will be in Sudan and the other in Ethiopia. It was also agreed to establish an international airport and railway line in that area.
The free zone will be one attracting investments, especially given that the zone’s location is strategic, said Al-Bashir and went on to say that experts will commence the procedures to set up the free zone.
Despite the fact that the Ethiopian prime minister’s visit did not exceed two days, but a number of clear achievements and entrenched the developed relations between the two countries. The visit also led to the signing of 14 agreements which will further cement accord and integration between Sudan and Ethiopia.
Many experts said that purchasing electricity from Ethiopia at 4 cents is considered a good thing for Sudan because it is an economical and suitable price that embodies serving the two countries’ interests, especially in border areas.

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