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Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia welcome imminent lift of sanctions on Asmara

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November 10, 2018 (ADDIS ABABA) - Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia agreed Saturday welcomed the expected lifting of international sanctions on Asmara and vowed to enhance their tripartite cooperation.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Somali President Mohammed Abdullahi Mahmud Farmajo and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki held two-day consultations in Bahr Dar, Ethiopia on November 9-10, 2018.

The meeting came as the Security Council is expected to endorse, next week, a draft resolution ending an arms embargo and targeted sanctions - a travel ban and asset freeze - imposed on Eritrea.

Also, the British-drafted resolution encourages Eritrea and Djibouti to settle the border dispute over the Ras Doumeira peninsula and adjacent territory and to resolve related issues.

"The leaders of Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea welcomed the impending lifting of all sanctions against Eritrea and underscored their conviction that this act of justice would contribute to enhancing peace, development and cooperation in the region," said a statement issued at the end of the meeting.

The joint statement further reaffirmed the commitment of the three countries to work for an inclusive regional peace and cooperation.

In a report to the Security Council on 12 October, the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) SEMG found no conclusive evidence that Eritrea was providing support to the Somali group of Al-Shabaab.

Also, the report points out that armed groups acting against Ethiopia with the support of Eritrea have now signed agreements with the Ethiopian government.

The statement stressed the "importance of respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Somalia as well as their firm support for the Somali people and the Federal Government of Somalia and all its institutions".

It was not clear if the statement refers to the situation in the self-declared state of Somaliland where the United Arab Emirates is constructing a military base.

On 6 September 2018, the three countries signed the Joint Declaration on Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation following a summit held in Asmara between the leaders of the three countries.

(ST)

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