ADDIS ABABA (ENA) - Ethiopia and Djibouti are exerting efforts to further consolidate the existing bilateral relationship with regard to economic integration, according to the officials of two countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated.
Speaking at the opening of Ethio-Djibouti Experts' Meeting held yesterday in Addis Ababa, IGAD Affairs Director at Ministry, Ambassador Mohamud Dirir said the people of Ethiopia and Djibouti share common geography, history, languages, culture and social values.
The main focus of two-day meeting is to identify and evaluate past achievement and limitation creating economic integration.
The session is also expected to review the Joint Ministerial Commission meeting that was held in Addis Ababa and should come with practical implementation mechanisms, develop action plan and timely review of the status of implementation to deliver on the promises.
He added that the two sisterly countries also enjoy economic political and social cooperation based on solid foundation of mutual benefit and respect.
Ethiopia attaches special importance to this long standing tie of friendliness, understanding and cooperation and is keen to further enhance these exemplary relations, the director added.
"The process of cooperation we have embarked on between our countries proceeds anybody's expectations, both countries are interested in widening and expanding their cooperation virtually in all areas," the director said.
Though more progress has so far been achieved over the past years, much more work is to be done in the future.
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who paid his first oversees visit to Djibouti, met with President Ismail Omar Guelleh on April and held discussion emphasizing on expediting economic integration.
Director for Bilateral Relation at Ministry Foreign Affairs of Djibouti, Yasin Hussein Dwale on his part said the meetings of higher officials from the two sides have provided a chance for in-depth discussion on a wide range of issues of common interests of the two countries.
Reinforcing cross-border infrastruc tures, increases in the volume of trade, consolidating the people to people relation are among other issues they picked up during the discussion.
The two sides agreed to push for further economic integration by overcoming all the obstacles, the director said, and adding that "we are now on the process of pursuing our economic integration that our two respective leaders have shown us in their last visit."
"As experts, we need to be encouraged by these visions to be more imaginative in all aspects of bilateral agenda on the table," Mohammud said.
"Djibouti attaches greater importance to the excellent political relations it enjoys with Ethiopia, there is no partner like Ethiopia for Djibouti and we are really committed to pursue this partnership in all areas and ready to deepen it," he stressed.
The 14th_Ethio-Djibouti Joint Ministerial Commission took place in Addis Ababa in July 2016, the ministers decided experts' of_ the two countries to meet every month to review the implementation of the agreement of JMC.
But, it could not take place due to election in Djibouti and political unrest in Ethiopia.
The first joint Ethio-Djibouti Experts' Meeting was held in December 2016 in Djibouti.