Rwanda, Ethiopia Expand Bilateral Ties

Rwanda and Ethiopia agreed on new areas of cooperation at a meeting which concluded in Kigali on Tuesday, an official who attended the two-day session said.

The new areas of partnerships are in the fields of education, tourism and mutual legal assistance, according to Claude Nikobisanzwe, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

Senior officials from Rwanda and Ethiopia began the meeting on Monday as the two countries sought to identify new opportunities and areas to strengthen their bilateral ties.

“Cooperation between Rwanda and Ethiopia remains strong and significant results have been achieved in the areas of defence, aviation and Capacity building among others, which continues to benefit the people of our two countries,” Nikobisanzwe said.

“During the meeting new areas of partnerships were agreed notably in: education, tourism, mutual legal assistance and will be signed. A framework to monitor implementation was also put in place.”

The second Rwanda-Ethiopia Joint Permanent Commission (JPC), meeting was at the technical level involving experts from both countries.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is expected in the country today for a two-day official visit.

Last year, the two countries signed an agreement to open their airspace allowing their national carriers to operate without restrictions.

In July 2012, Rwanda and Ethiopia signed three bilateral agreements, including one setting up the JPC to strengthen bilateral cooperation, a general cooperation agreement to shape and expand cooperation in the political, economic, trade and investment, education, health and other fields; as well as another strategic partnership on issues of defence and security.

Under the general cooperation agreement, the parties had reaffirmed their commitment to the objectives and principles of the African Union, and undertook to further strengthen bilateral relations.

They agreed to shape and expand their cooperation in the political, economic, trade and investment, scientific, educational, health technical and other fields on the basis of the principle of sovereign equality of states.

Under the strategic partnership agreement, the countries agreed to cooperate in diplomacy, defence, and security affairs, and in economic and social affairs such as investment and education.

Collaboration in trade and investment was to be undertaken through business reforms and customs cooperation, trade and investment information sharing, among others.

Partnership in the area of defence and military cooperation includes sharing of peacekeeping experiences and building peace support operation capabilities, among others.

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Source: The New Times

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