Sudan's PM Hamdok starts two-day visit to Ethiopia

Ahram Online , Sunday 13 Dec 2020

Hamdok is accompanied by a high-level delegation to discuss issues of mutual concern with Addis Ababa

Hamdok, Abiy Ahmed
Sudanese PM Hamdouk - Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok arrived in Ethiopia on Sunday morning with a high-level delegation on a two day official visit to discuss issues of mutual interest, reported the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA).

Hamdok is accompanied by Acting Foreign Minister Omar Gamar Eddin, Director of the General Intelligence Service Jamal Abdel-Majeed, among others.

The visit is scheduled to cover several regional and continental humanitarian, economic, political, and security issues, SUNA said.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed welcomed Hamdok at the airport in the capital, Addis Ababa, state-affiliated Fana TV reported. He later tweeted that he had had good discussions with the Sudanese delegation, "during which we reached an understanding on various issues that will further augment cooperation between our two countries."

A senior Sudanese government source told Reuters Hamdok brings an offer to Addis Ababa to mediate in the conflict in its northern Tigray region, a proposal Ethiopia's government dismissed as unnecessary.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government had declared victory over the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) after its forces took control of the regional capital, Mekelle, on 29 November and says it is restoring order in Tigray.

Sudan has received nearly 50,000 Ethiopian refugees since the war in Tigray started in early November.

SUNA did not specify whether the dispute between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue will be tackled during Hamdok's talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Sudan decided in November not to take part in a tripartite ministerial meeting on GERD that was scheduled to discuss guidelines for further negotiations, saying that the way previous talks were held proved to be "unproductive."

Egypt and Sudan have been in talks with Ethiopia for years now to reach a legally binding agreement on the filling and operating of the GERD, a demand repeatedly dodged by Addis Ababa. Hamdok said on Saturday that the three countries have agreed on 90 percent of the issues concerning the dam, adding that the remaining issues need further discussion and political decisions.

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