Eritrean leader makes second visit to Ethiopia

APA-Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Eritrean President Issias Afewerki is on an official working visit to Ethiopia, his second trip to the country after the two neighbours ended their decades old enmity last year.

Even though the two countries signed a number of deals to end the state of hostility and establish a new era of peace, friendship and comprehensive cooperation, little progress has been on their implementation.

This has left the door open for uncertainty and suspicion to creep back, analysts say.

The coarse relations between the Eritrean government and Ethiopia’s Tigray regional administration and the closure of border roads linking the two neighbours as well as the absence of a clear trade policy between them have gravely affected people to people relations 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 where needed to guide and oversee the implementation of the agreement. 

But there has been little apparent progress on either front especially on economic co-operation which was probably one of the key drivers of their reconciliation. 

These included plans to develop a massive potash mine that would straddle the border. 

But little has been heard of the project in recent months.

So far, 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. 

Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed praised President Isaias 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-year impasse between Addis Ababa and Asmara following the 2018 peace treaty.  


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