LANDLOCKED ETHIOPIA PREPARING TO USE ERTITREA’S ASSAB PORT

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Following their recent reconciliation, Ethiopia and neighbouring Eritrea are making preliminary preparations for landlocked Ethiopia to again use the port of Assab in Eritrea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.

Ministry Spokesperson Meles Alem said in a mediate statement here Tuesday that preliminary activities are being carried by both sides to make use of the port. Currently, Ethiopia's sea-borne exports and imports are handled through the port of Djibouti.

According to Meles, the preparations to resume moving cargoes through Assab have started following the direction set by leaders of the two countries under the agreement concluded between the two countries last week to resume ties.

The two leaders have previously agreed to reinforce ties in diplomatic and economic areas. Recommencement of transport, trade and telecommunication ties as well as port services were among the priorities.

Accordingly, Ethiopia has started repairing the road to the port of Assab, he said, adding that similar work is in progress from the Eritrean side.

A task force drawn from the Ministry of Transport; the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority and Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise has already been established to follow up on the implementation, he indicated.

Furthermore, he noted the two nations are working to forge friendship and ties between the two people, especially at the border areas.

The two countries have already started activities that would help to rebuild diplomatic ties, with the re-opening of the Eritrean Embassy in Addis Ababa this week is one of the steps taken.

According to Meles, Ethiopia is also working to re-open its embassy in Asmara to boost diplomatic ties.

Eritrea's President Isayas Afewerki made a historic visit to Ethiopia last weekend, with the aim of facilitating the normalization process. His visit followed the historic visit just days earlier by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Asmara in a bid to restore relations between the two countries.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK