UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Source: Ethiopian Government Spokesperson's website
Friday, November 19, 1999
Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Joint Communiqué Issued at the end of the Working Visit to Ethiopia of H.E. Lt. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Beshir, President of the Republic of the Sudan
H.E. Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Beshir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, accompanied by high-ranking government officials, paid a working visit to Ethiopia from 18-19 November 1999.
H.E. Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Beshir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, was accorded a warm welcome upon his arrival in Ethiopia by H.E. President Dr. Negaso Gidada. High-ranking government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and members of the Sudanese community in Addis Ababa were also present at the Bole International Airport to receive the President.
During his visit, H.E. Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Beshir and H.E. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi held extensive discussions on bilateral and regional issues of common interest. The discussions were held in a frank and cordial spirit that characterizes the historical bond of friendship that has existed between the two countries.
The two leaders noted with satisfaction the on-going efforts to normalize the relations between Ethiopia and the Sudan after passing through a period of difficulty in their diplomatic relationship. In this regard, they expressed their conviction that after having drawn the necessary lessons from the recent experience, the two countries will forge closer ties based on the principles of good neighborliness, mutual interest and mutual respect, as well as on scrupulous observance of principles of international law governing inter-state relations.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the ways and means of reactivating the Ethio-Sudan Joint Ministerial Commission and agreed to take the necessary steps to convene the next meeting of the Commission in February 2000.
While emphasizing the need to promote trade and commercial relations between the two countries, the two leaders agreed on the exchange of visits between the Presidents and governors of the bordering regions of the two countries.
On the conflict situations in the Horn of Africa, the two leaders expressed a common view that the problems must be resolved on the bases of charter principles of the OAU and the UN. In order to avoid further escalation of the conflicts, they emphasized in particular the need for strict observance of the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.
Concerning the Sudan peace process, H.E. President Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Beshir assured H.E. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of the commitment of the Government of Sudan to find a peaceful solution within the framework of the IGAD peace process. President Beshir also briefed Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on the other efforts of the Government of the Sudan to find a comprehensive settlement for the overall problems of the country. In this regard, H.E. President Beshir appreciated the constructive role being played by Ethiopia in finding a long lasting peaceful solution to the conflict.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the current situation in Somalia and while expressing their support for the recent proposal put forward by H.E. the President of the Republic of Djibouti, they agreed to work together more closely for the peace of Somalia. H.E. President Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Beshir expressed his appreciation to the Government of Ethiopia for the efforts being made to bring peace to Somalia in accordance with the mandate given to it by IGAD and the OAU.
The two leaders expressed their commitment to strengthen IGAD and agreed that the process of the revitalization of the sub-regional organization should be pursued vigorously by member states. They also expressed their resolve to contribute towards the success of the forthcoming Summit Meeting of IGAD, scheduled to take place in Djibouti on 26 November 1999.
At the end of his visit, H.E. President Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Beshir expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome and fraternal hospitality accorded to him and to members of his delegation during their stay in Ethiopia and extended an invitation to H.E. Ato Meles Zenawi to visit the Sudan at his earliest convenience. H.E. Ato Meles Zenawi has accepted the invitation.
Issued by the FDRE Office of Government Spokesperson on 19/11/99
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Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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