Ethiopia and Sudan agreed to boost their relationship

The historic links between Ethiopia and Sudan people goes back to the ancient civilizations of Axum and Merowe in the third century of the Christian era. The peoples of the two countries have had strong and longstanding economic, social and political interaction through exchanges of trade, cultural interactions and their ways of life, sharing a long boundary and, above all, drinking from the same waters, from the Blue Nile and Tekezze Rivers. These two countries are once and for all linked by nature and not to be separated: "you can choose your friend but you can't choose your neighbor".

Today, the relations between Ethiopia and Sudan are not limited to historic connections but are rather being steadily diversified into a whole range of issues, from strengthening economic interaction to continuous political consultations and indeed reaching a common stance over the importance of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam for regional integration. The ties between Ethiopia and Sudan are continuing to gather momentum within a framework of mutual benefit and trust. And it was within this framework that Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu paid his first official visit to the Republic of Sudan last Sunday, December 25.

Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu was warmly welcomed on his arrival at Khartoum Airport by his Sudanese counterpart, Foreign Minister Professor Ibrahim Ghandour. During their subsequent bilateral discussions, Dr. Workneh emphasized that Ethiopia greatly valued its close relations with the government and the brotherly people of Sudan. He also underlined Ethiopia's appreciation of Sudan's support for Ethiopia's position on the importance of the Grand Renaissance Dam. Dr. Workneh added that he now hoped that the existing relations between the two countries would be strengthened through expanding economic and investment ties.

In their talks, the two ministers covered a wide range of regional and global issues of mutual interest. After evaluating the progress achieved in the relationship during recent years, they agreed to further continue and expand the activities of the existing Joint Economic Committee to reinforce the intended economic integration between the two countries. They agreed to consolidate their economic cooperation through the implementation of joint projects and to further strengthen investment and trade ties.

During his official visit, Dr. Workneh briefed the Sudanese media, stressing the "existing strong bilateral ties among the two brotherly countries." The Minister said Sudan was a strategic partner for Ethiopia and Ethiopia has a firm position on its determination to keep this partnership active for all aspects of the relations between the two countries. He welcomed the continuing and growing efforts of the Sudanese media to strengthen people-to-people relations between Ethiopia and the Sudan and said further effort was needed to work together with the Ethiopian media to achieve their common development goals.  

During his visit, Dr. Workneh also held discussions with Engineer Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, Assistant of the President of Sudan and the Deputy Chairman of the National Congress Party for the Party Affairs. Dr. Workneh briefed Engineer Hamid on current developments in Ethiopia. Engineer Hamid re-affirmed Sudan's support to Ethiopia's efforts for regional integration and the ruling party's commitment to realize security and stability in Ethiopia and in the region. Minister Dr. Workneh and his delegation also held discussions with the staff of the Ethiopian Embassy in Khartoum on ways to increase efforts to strengthen Ethio-Sudanese relations, and the Minister gave directions on ways to improve the successful achievements of the Embassy's goals. Ethiopia will be hosting the 4th Ethio -Sudan Higher Level Commission meeting and 18th Ethio-Sudan Joint Border Development Commission meeting during the coming year.