Eritrean president in Sudan for talks on bilateral relations
May 8, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - Eritrean president, Isaias Afwerki, arrived Thursday to the Sudanese capital for talks with his Sudanese counterpart, Omer Al-Bashir, on economic cooperation as they are expected to discuss oil and trade agreements.
- Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir (R) and his Eritrean counterpart Issaias Afeworki attend a welcome ceremony at Khartoum airport on May 8, 2014 (Photo SUNA)
The two east African leaders also are expected to discuss border control, as Human Rights Watch condemned in a statement released on Thursday Khartoum for the deportation of 30 Eritreans, including at least six registered refugees to Asmara.
Sudan, which in past proposed to reconcile Addis Ababa and Asmara and forge strong economic relations, holds regular meetings with officials from the two horn of Africa foes aiming to enhance bilateral cooperation on various fields.
State minister at the foreign ministry, Obeid Allah Mohamed Obeid Allah stated that the two sides discussed economic cooperation specially the electrical interconnection between the neighbouring countries.
"The two sides discussed the importance of completing this project in the near future," Obeid Allah said, adding that talks dealt with the possibility of providing Eritrea with oil derivatives.
The two sides, according to the state minister, further discussed efforts to control and secure the joint border.
Sudan with Ethiopia are the two gates for Eritreans fleeing the repressive regime in Asmara for economic or political reasons. Migrants and asylum-seekers once in Sudan try to travel to Europe through Egypt, Israel and recently Libya.
Human Rights Watch said authorities in eastern Sudan handed 30 Eritrean over to Eritrean security forces, pointing that six among the deportees were registered refugees.
“Sudan is forcibly returning Eritreans to serious risk of detention and abuse at the hands of a brutal government,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Sudan should immediately end these deportations and protect Eritreans.”
This week a Sudanese court in, Dongola ordered to deport Eritrean and Ethiopian rescued in the desert near the Libyan border. A group of over 600 people including Sudanese and nationals from the two horn of Africa countries were found in the desert by a joint Libyan Sudanese force according to the military spokesperson in Khartoum.
Afwerki who is in a three-day visit to Sudan met on Thursday evening with the first vice-president Bakri Hassan Saleh to discuss the implementation of the signed agreements.