Ethiopian PM arrives at Port of Assab, Eritrea

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed makes unannounced visit to Port Massawa, Eritrea [Photo: Online]

ASMARA - 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 Afworki.

The Prime Minister visited the port and the 71km long road which stretches from the Ethiopian border to the port. He is also expected to visit the port of Massawa this afternoon.

In a related development, the first Ethiopian commercial ship will dock today on Eritrean port of Massawa after two decades.

According to vessels voyage plan No. 36/18 of the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE), the vessel is expected to arrive in Massawa from Saudi Arabia on September 5.

The ship, called “Mekelle” will carry 11,000 tonnes of Eritrea’s Zinc to China with a fee of 618,825 US dollars, Eritrean media reported.

The vessel was built in 2013. Ethiopia has 12 cargo and two container ships built with loans from the Chinese government.

All the ships are named after the capital cities of Ethiopia’s regional states.

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.