Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn received the visiting Sudanes President Omar Al-Bashir at the Jubilee Palace, during which the two leaders reaffirmed their determination to elevate the bilateral ties.
In a press briefing, the two leaders underlined the need on further strengthening the already excellent and strong bilateral ties, particularly enhancing the economic, cultural, trade and security partnerships as well as keeping the momentum of speeding up the cross boarder and regional development projects.
Prime Minister Hailemariam said the relation between the two countries is strong, one that demonstrated successful cooperation in a wide range of sectors. He said, “Business and economic relations are the pillars our relations”.
The Premier noted among other areas, Ethiopia and Sudan have demonstrated exemplary cooperation in cross-border projects, the power sector, road transport, the establishment of free economic zone, security partnership and cooperation in peace and stability efforts in South Sudan and Somalia.
“Our foreign policy priories”, the Premier added, “target at bolstering strong and enduring partnerships with neighboring countries”. To this effect, series of exchanges of high-level visits are taking place with neighboring countries like the Sudan; he said: “any security problem in Sudan is our problem and any security problem in Ethiopia is Sudanese problem. So we have come to the conclusion that these countries cannot be separated by all means.”
President Omar Al-Bashir praised the warm hospitality accorded to him, noting that this is not “peculiar this time rather it has been a customary exercise any time we set foot in Addis Ababa.” Describing the relations between Sudan and Ethiopia as long-standing and deep rooted, the President pointed out that the two countries have excellent and close relations in the economic frontiers and people-to-people ties. He also mentioned that Ethiopia and the Sudan constitute “the same people” adding that even their songs share cultural commonalities.
The President said, “We do confirm that the security of Ethiopia and Sudan is integrated. So we will work together to promote and enhance relations so as to meet the expectations of all Sudanese and Ethiopians.”
The President mentioned that Sudan is currently importing power from Ethiopia, and is ready to import more when Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is completed. Speaking of GERD, Al-Bashir added, “As far as the Renaissance Dam is concerned, all the aspects the environmental consequences, the economic and socio-economic consequences are all under focus now and it is the first time that the three countries come to agreement.”
The President finally reaffirmed that Ethiopia and the Sudan would further work to elevate the bilateral relationship in the years to come, to which he said both parties have shown full political willingness.