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Ethiopian Premier visits Assab and Massawa ports

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Addis Ababa, September 5, 2018 (FBC) – Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed today arrived at the port of Assab, Eritrea, after attending the 7th summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), held in Beijing on September 3 and 4.

Upon arrival, the Ethiopian Premier was welcomed by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.

The Prime Minister visited both Assab and Massawa ports as well as the 71km Assab main highway to the Ethiopian border.

After visiting the port, the Premier said the port of Assab will commence operation in a few weeks after minor renovations are conducted.

The Premier also visited the Ethiopian commercial ship which docked on Eritrean port of Massawa for first time in 20 years. The ship called “Mekelle” will carry Eritrean goods to China.

The commencement of today’s cargo operation proves that the peace process launched between the two countries is paying off, he said.

The Prime Minister said the visit is amid at making the peace deal successful ahead of the upcoming Ethiopia New Year.

During his two-day working visit to Eritrea, PM Dr Abiy will hold discussions with President Isaias Afwerki to assess and expedite implementation of the agreements signed last July.

Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace deal last July, ending one of Africa’s longest wars.

The agreement comes after 18 years of “no peace, no war” that followed two years of intense border fighting between 1998 and 2000.

Following the peace deal, the two countries agreed to regularize their ties with the opening of embassies, free travel of people, airline links, direct international telephone connection, and use of ports.