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Ethiopia’s PM to visit Sudan for meetings on bilateral relations

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November 30, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, will arrive in Khartoum on Tuesday at the head of a high level delegation to participate in the meetings of the Joint Sudanese - Ethiopian Higher Committee (JSEHC).

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President Omer Al-Bashir meets with the Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn on 26 December 2012 (SUNA)

The meetings at experts level are due to start on Sunday while the bilateral meetings at ministerial level would begin on Tuesday. Discussions will focus on several aspects of cooperation between the two countries including economic, commercial, and cultural relations.

Sudan’s presidential media secretary, Imad Sid Ahmed, stated that Bashir and Desalegn would meet before the opening session of the JSEHC.

He said that talks between the two sides would cover political, economic, cultural and social cooperation as well as joint issues, on top of which the border issue.

The closing session of bilateral talks will be held on Wednesday and would be preceded by the signing of agreements in various fields.

This round of talks is particularly important in light of the economic and trade agreements which would be discussed by the two neighbours besides the signing of memorandums of understandings in social and cultural domains, said, the general director of bilateral relations at Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs, Abdel-Mahmoud Abdel-Halim.

Following the opening session of the JSEHC meetings on Wednesday, Bashir and Desalegn will leave for Gedaref state in eastern Sudan to inaugurate the power linkage network between the two countries.

The two leaders will also attend a public rally. Desalegn would afterwards leave for the Northern state to visit Merowi dam.

Relations between the two countries improved in many areas, say observers point out that Sudan even supported the construction of a new dam in Ethiopian, forcing Egypt to reconsider its hostile position.

Since the area of the late Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi, the two countries have encouraged border trade and signed security agreements to fight against presence of rebel groups in both countries.

Those agreements managed to curb the activities of rebel Oromo groups in Ethiopia and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM).

The official news agency SUNA reported on Saturday that the commissioners of the districts of Queissan, Blue Nile state Sudan, and Asosa in Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia discussed security issues on the two border areas.

The Ethiopian-Sudanese meeting take place several days after a visit by the Eritrean president, Isaias Afworki to Sudan.

Afworki met with Bashir in eastern Sudan town of Port Sudan last week and signed several bilateral agreements between the two countries.

Khartoum is keen to keep balanced relations with the two Horn of Africa foes after failing to broker a peace deal ending their dispute over a border town.

(ST)

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