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Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 18:30:56 -0500>
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Subject: Eritrean Profile Vol2 No4 Part#1

Eritrea-Ethiopia Joint Communique

EritreanProfile—Electronic, Vol. 2, no 4, 8 April 1995

Asmara April 5, 1995—In accordance with the Agreement concluded on 23 September, 1993, the third round meeting of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Joint High Ministerial Commission (JHMC) was held in Asmara from April 3-4, 1995.

HE Ato Mahmud Ahmed Sherifo, Vice-president of the State of Eritrea and HE Ato Tamirat Layne, Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia, led the high-level delegations at the meeting.

Upon his arrival at Asmara International Airport on 3rd of April 1995 HE Ato Tamirat Layne was warmly welcomed by HE Ato Mahmud Ahmed Sherifo and other high ranking Eritrean officials.

During his stay in Asmara, the Ethiopian Prime Minister was received in audience by HE Ato Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea, at which time the brotherly greetings of HE Ato Meles Zenawi, President of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia, was extended to the Government and people of Eritrea.

At the opening of the meeting HE Ato Mahmud Ahmed Sherifo spoke of the joint efforts both sides have exerted and the practical steps taken by the line Ministries of both countries towards implementing the agreements reached. He underscored the significant achievements registered so far. HE Ato Sherifo described the relationship that has been developing between the two countries over the past three years as exemplary and stressed that this needed to be further strengthened and developed along the prevailing similarity of vision and further understanding. He expressed the unreserved commitment of the Government of Eritrea towards this end.

On his part HE Ato Tamirat Layne, thanked HE Ato Mahmud Ahmed Sherifo and the Government and people of Eritrea for the warm brotherly welcome and hospitality extended to the Ethiopian delegation. The Prime Minister concurred on the importance of this meeting as issues of fundamental nature are being dealt with in greater depth since both sides have identified clear policies and strategies for their development. He stated that the previous two meeting contained more expressions of intentions and aspirations to promote closer cooperation between the two Governments and peoples.

The high-level delegation reviewed the status of implementation of the various agreements and protocols signed between the two countries and expressed satisfaction on the progress made. Both nonetheless expressed the need to re-double their efforts to overcome bottlenecks to the further and expeditious deepening of the all-round cooperation between the two countries. With regard to political affairs, both sides expressed their satisfaction at the efforts undertaken thus far in coordinating their positions in foreign relations, defense, justice, security, information and broadcasting and underscored the need to further strengthen and expand this relationship.

In the economic field, both parties reiterated their commitment to work towards integration of their economies through the establishment of Free Trade Area. They agreed to intensify the implementation of agreements in various areas in the economic field with greater determination.

Both sides expressed their conviction that the promotion of the close and exemplary relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia will make a vital contribution to the well-being and prosperity of their peoples and to the promotion of peace, stability and eventual integration of the sub-region.

The talks were conducted in the spirit of complete friendship, understanding and mutual trust reflecting the special friendly relations between the two countries.

The Joint High Commission is scheduled to hold a follow-up meeting in Addis Ababa in six months.