By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
February 22, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia and neighboring Sudan signed multiple agreements to further boost up cooperation on a range of development activities, Ethiopia’s foreign affairs minister said Tuesday.
The agreements were signed following the completion of the 18th Ethiopia-Sudanese border development commission meeting held in Mekelle, capital of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray regional state.
During the two-day meeting representatives withdrawn from bordering regions of the two countries deliberated on issues pertaining to security and socio-economy.
After evaluating performance on implementation of past agreements the two sides signed agreements to step up cooperation on border security, on controlling arms smuggling, human trafficking, illegal border trade and on controlling criminal activities along the shared border.
They have also agreed to work on health, tourism, transport infrastructure and they further reach understanding to solve customs related problems facing with regard to exporting Ethiopian products to Sudan.
Sudan and Ethiopia has also agreed to advance economic and political ties during the annual meeting.
Accordingly, Addis Ababa and Khartoum signed agreement to implement a previously signed accord on political, social and economic ties.
Bordering regions of the two countries vow to undertake coordinated efforts to boost development along the shared border based on mutual interest and common concern
The latest broad range of agreements were signed by Abay Weldu, Tigray regional state President on the Ethiopian side and Mirkeni Saleh, Gedarif state governor on the Sudanese side.
While commending on the remarkable gains achieved by the joint border development activities over the years, the governer of Sudan’s Senar state, Adow Almahi said in addition to the road links, ongoing efforts to link Sudan and Ethiopia by a railway will further bolster the "exemplary relationship" between the two countries.
The commissions have also consulted on ways how to jointly tackle challenges dragging implementation of previously signed agreements.
The meeting has called for a stronger partnership on areas of major concerns while commending joint security measures taken to ensure peace and security along the long shared border line.
It was decided at the annual meeting that the next 19th Ethiopia-Sudanese border development meeting will take place in Sudan’s Senar state.