Ethiopia, Burundi Move to Strengthen Ties

Ethiopia's President Sahle-Work Zewde ended a two-day working tour of Burundi last week as the two countries move to improve their relations.

Speaking on arrival at the Melchior Ndadaye International Airport, she said; "We felt something has been missing in our relations and even with this high level of delegation of Ethiopia to Burundi, none of us has visited this beautiful country before, so am extremely honoured to be the first."

She was met by her counterpart President Evariste Ndayishimiye. During her tour in Bujumbura, the Ethiopian president visited manufacturing companies, the mausoleum before holding a closed-door meeting with President Ndayishimiye.

The two later released a joint communique, asking concerned sector Cabinet ministries to put in place a strategy that would revitalise their co-operation, through working sessions and of the joint permanent commission between Burundi and Ethiopia to be convened.

Support to regional organisations

"The two heads of state stressed the need to strengthen continental, regional and sub-regional organisations in the promotion and consolidation of peace, security, stability and sustainable development," reads part of the communique.

Ethiopia and Burundi are among countries contributing troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), and are under the Inter-governmental partnership of the Nile Basin Initiative.

President Zewde is the first to visit Burundi since Ndayishimiye was elected last year.

For the past almost eight months in office, President Ndayishimiye's government has prioritised mending and strengthening of diplomatic ties and relations with neighbouring countries and the international community.

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