Hailemariam Desalegn, former Ethiopian Prime Minister, sits for an interview with Eritrea’s Ministry of Information media shabait.com when he was in Asmara 

By Asmait Futsumbrhan (Shabait.com) |

In a month where Eritreans and Ethiopians are enjoying the endless peace celebrations, former Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn was one of the dignitaries who came to Asmara with Ethiopian Airlines’ maiden flight.

Despite his short stay, Mr. Hailemariam agreed to hold an interview with Eritrea Profile to talk about his first visit to Asmara; his first proper meeting with President Isaias Afwerki and the way forward for Eritrea and Ethiopia.

□ Welcome to Asmara and thank you for your time. What are your first thoughts on your visit?

I am happy to be here and conduct this interview with you; it is an honor for me. First of all, I am grateful to be in Asmara. It has always been my dream to visit, so I would like to pass my gratitude to the Eritrean government and the people for making it a reality. From the moment we disembarked from the plane, I’m still unable to find exact words to describe how I am feeling. I have walked the streets of Asmara, and people wouldn’t let me pass without hugging or kissing me. Also, I just came from a meeting with H.E President Isaias Afwerki and had a two hour conversation for the first time in our lives. All in all, this is a happy day for me.

□ Mr, Hailemariam. Would you share your thought on what can be done to strengthen the industrial activities of both countries?

The two nations need to develop a strong regional cooperation and strong government unity, which can be significant. It is a fact that both countries hold an enormous amount of resources which they can benefit from.

Industrial activities can be attained within both nations. For instance, it can be developed from the ports of one country. Numerous strong industrialized countries including Korea and China begun their industrial activities at their shores which are still growing fast and bigger by the day. I believe that Eritrea and Ethiopia can get an advantage from the shores Eritrea possesses.

Working towards the stabilization of our markets, we need to analyze the demand of the people in both countries. That way, we can provide the people in our respective countries their needs and benefit from each other. Studies should be conducted on what Eritrea and Ethiopia can provide. Although this is just the beginning, authorities from both countries should put on efforts on this topic. A ground for full economic cooperation should be worked for. Not only do we have to focus on importing and exporting goods, but people should have the opportunity where they could be active freely. That is another essential thing we need to give attention to.

Continue reading this interview with former Ethiopian Prime Minister at Shabait.com
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