Ethiopia, South Sudan Discuss Bilateral Issues of Common Concern

ADDIS ABABA – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen held talks with South Sudan president Salva Kiir during a day-long visit to Juba on Thursday.

The two sides discussed “on bilateral issues of common concern”, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), describing their meeting as “fruitful”.

The high-level officials meeting also reviewed the longstanding relationship between the two east African nations “with commitments to further cement it with extended engagements”, it added.

Speaking at the meeting, Kiir reaffirmed to Demeke that South Sudan will always stand in defense of Ethiopia’s peace, stability, security, and territorial integrity.

He also said South Sudan would never accept undue interferences in the domestic affairs of Ethiopia, expressing his firm belief in Ethiopia’s capacity to solve its own problems through its own initiative.

Demeke, on his part, briefed the President on the rationale of launching the law enforcement operation and subsequent conflict that was imposed on the government by the TPLF, according to MoFA.

His briefing also included the situations in the northern part of the country and the humanitarian supply to affected people by the conflict.

The reality on the ground is changing with new battlefield gains by the Ethiopian joint forces, he said, speaking in detail about the planned all-inclusive dialogue with stakeholders to return peace to Ethiopia.

The Deputy Prime Minister came back to Addis Ababa on Thursday afternoon.