Since August of last year, Eritrea has been taking notable steps towards its longstanding aspiration of building a politically stable and economically dynamic region in East Africa. Following the peace treaty with neighboring Ethiopia, over the past six months alone, Asmara has held extensive bilateral and multilateral talks with Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, South Sudan and Kenya.
Last Sunday, the 3rd of March, saw Asmara hosting the summit meeting of three African leaders, the leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Kenya. Both Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian Prime Minister, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived at the Asmara International Airport accompanied by their delegation in the morning hours of the same day.
Upon arrival the two leaders were accorded warm welcome by President Isaias Afwerki. The three leaders then headed to the Presidential Palace in Asmara, where they held extensive talks on bilateral and multilateral ties among the three countries and the remaining countries of the Horn to promote matters of common interest.
The president also had bilateral talks with PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed and President Uhuru Kenyatta in separate meetings.
The tripartite comprehensive summit lasted until lunch time. The leaders sat for a luncheon hosted at the Presidential Palace.
In the afternoon hours President Uhuru Kenyatta departed Asmara after concluding a one-day work visit to Eritrea. President Isaias and his delegation alongside Dr. Abiy and his Ethiopian delegation saw off the Kenyan President. Afterwards PM Abiy Ahmed and his delegation, accompanied by President Isaias, drove south-west outside of Asmara and headed towards Adi Halo, situated 30 kilometers away from the capital.
Afterwards, President Isaias accompanied PM Abiy Ahmed for a tour of Gherghera and Misilam dams, three kilometers away from the town of Debarwa.
The delegation, led by the President, visited agricultural and solar projects in the area driving through some one hundred kilometers mostly on dirt roads and arrived back in Asmara early in the evening.
On Sunday evening, Dr. Abiy was seen taking a stroll in downtown Asmara, a passeggiata that is typical of the inhabitants of Asmara. It is common for the people of Asmara, in groups of two or more, to take strolls around the city. The breeze of the evening is ideal for that kind of refreshment.
In the morning hours of the following day, the 4th of March, President Isaias Afwerki and PM Abiy Ahmed left Asmara and arrived in Juba. “The visit aims at strengthening the relations between South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea,” explained South Sudan’s Foreign Minister. In an interview he gave to ERINA, the South Sudan Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that the visit is an extension of the initiatives the Horn African leaders took towards regional stability.
Upon arrival in South Sudan, President Isaias and PM Abiy were welcomed by South Sudan’s President Salva kier Mayardit. The three leaders ended their meeting in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, by issuing a joint statement of declaration.
After concluding his visit to South Sudan President Isaias Afwerki returned home in the afternoon.
For Africa to chart its own development route and create suitable environment for its youth to live in peace and prosperity, it is important that all nations resolve their differences together and open discussion platforms for multilateral relations. The Horn of Africa has been making endeavors towards this vision which is promising for its peoples’ future. Asmara, in the past weekend, once more, was a rendezvous for another sequel of East Africa’s efforts to build a pathway for its nations’ prosperous future.
- Joint Statement between the leaders of the State of Eritrea, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of South Sudan
Joint Statement on the Visit of H.E. President Isaias Afwerki of the State of Eritrea and H. E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Republic of South Sudan, Juba on 4th March 2019
1- H. E. President Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea and H. E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, paid a one-day working visit to the Republic of South Sudan in the course of which the two leaders and their host President Salva Kiir Mayardit, held extensive discussions on a broad range of issues.
2- The three leaders emphasized the need to continue working together to consolidate peace in the Republic of South Sudan in all ways possible and to seek to coordinate the positions of the three countries on both Regional and Global issues.
3- In the course of the discussions the three leaders focused on the need to advance the cause of regional integration and to that end agreed to task their Foreign Ministers and other relevant government agencies in the three countries to work out the common projects that will facilitate the attainment of the goal of Regional Economic integration and shared prosperity.
4- At the end of their visit H. E. Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea and H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia thanked their host President Salva Kiir Mayardit and through him the people of South Sudan, for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to them and their delegation during their visit to South Sudan.