Addis Ababa, December 22/2020(ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonen said Ethiopia and Sudan need to redouble efforts to translate the strong bilateral relation into more strategic cooperation.
In his opening remark to the 2nd round of Ethiopia-Sudan High Level Political Committee Meeting underway in Khartoum. he noted that Ethiopia always attaches great importance to its relation with the people and government of the Sudan.
“The longstanding brotherly relations between our two countries and peoples are, of course, very well-known,”‘ he stated, adding that the countries need to redouble efforts to translate the strong bilateral relation into more strategic cooperation that would accelerate the economic integration of the two countries and bring concrete benefits to the peoples.
Demeke stressed that elevating the all rounded relations of the countries into a new and higher level for the mutual benefit is crucial.
According to him, the role of border trade that involves and benefits communities around the common border is very crucial in ensuring peace and stability in the border area.
“We therefore need to revise the existing preferential trade agreement and finalize the negotiations of the protocol on the rules of origin. The border trade protocols signed some twenty years ago are under discussion for revision to accommodate current realities,” he pointed out.
Demeke, however, stated that what has happened recently in the border area did not commensurate with this longstanding principle of solidarity and fraternity.
According to him, what was witnessed recently did not resemble the cordial relation that exists between the two countries.
He subsequently expressed his hope to continue engagement on this issue with the spirit of fraternal cooperation and commitment that has always been a mark of the Ethiopia-Sudan relation.
The deputy premier and foreign minister stressed that it is “Ethiopia’s firm position that reactivating the existing mechanisms and finding an amicable solution on settlement and cultivation are the only way to bring lasting solution to the issues in the common border.”
Ethiopia believes that securitization and unnecessary escalation will only worsen the situation and create pointless tension and disrupt daily activities of the peoples living in the border area.