Ethio-Yemen Relations:From good to better [Archives:2003/653/Community]

July 24 2003

Tefsaye Negassa,
Embassy of the Federal Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia to Yemen

The relations between Ethiopia and Yemen began as of the first half of the 6th century AD. The people of the two countries started establishing their livings in each other's country since 525 AD. There are many historical records and living evidences which prove these longstanding relations in terms of economic, social, cultural, and religious ties which peoples of both countries enjoyed for centuries. Yemen is the oldest country in this part of the world to establish both trade and diplomatic relations with Ethiopia. The modern diplomatic relations took off as the signing of such a document took place on March 22, 1935 in Sana'a.
Our strategic position on both sides of the Red Sea is truly instrumental. We have come to boost the age-old relations by signing various economic, social and political agreements to allow a better trade movement, people to people understanding via travel and investments as well as exchange of cultural values, scientific know-hows and experiences. Both countries are also engaged in working to the common goal of bringing stability and peace to the Red Sea region. Yemen and Ethiopia have been sharing not only good times, but also problems as they occur in each other's country. And as such, as trust-worthy friends, their relation is growing by leaps and bounds under the present regimes in both countries.
As stated earlier, Yemen and Ethiopia have been strategic friends. They are located at a geographical position that is also strategic. This means we (the two countries) have strategic roles to play in ensuring not only economic development in both countries, but also contributing greatly to harmony, peaceful co-existence and stability in the region. Ethio-Yemeni close relations are not the matter of choice, they are a natural must.
While the two raise many common points in their remote civilization, and enjoy deep rooted people to people bondage, less had been worked out in strengthening their diplomatic relations until recent time.
Soon after the downfall of the Dictatorial Military regime of Ethiopia in May 1991, the Yemeni Government and the then Transitional Government of Ethiopia signed a memorandum of understanding here in Sana'a in 1992 to promote bilateral cooperation in the economic, social and cultural fields.
The two countries, since then continued to work on developing mutual interests in various fields and in mid 1999, reactivated the Joint Commission in a meeting held in April of the same year in Sana'a, during which a number of agreements were signed and ratified in social, political, and economic fields and are now in the process of implementation.
When the second Ethio-Yemen Ministerial Commission was held in Addis Ababa from 25 January to 1 February 2001, various executive programs including cultural science and education, industrial, export promotion, oil and energy, and tourism cooperation agreements were signed. Besides, agreements on the accordance of double taxations and the news agencies cooperation, as well as a memorandum of understanding on housing and urban planning cooperation were also signed at the meeting.
The third Ethio-Yemen Joint Ministerial Commission was held in Sana'a from May 8-12, 2002. At the meeting, both sides stressed their wishes to further consolidate cooperation between the two countries.
Deliberation on the existing and future areas of cooperation and agreements reached at the session, were on economic and commerce cooperation in investment, agriculture and technical education, vocational training, oil gas and minerals, cultural and scientific education, tourism, housing and urban planning and cooperation in the field of immigrants and protection of nationals.
The visit of H.E. President of the Republic of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh to Ethiopia as of 20-22 July 2003 will further enhance the multifaceted relationship between the two countries in the economic, political, security, cultural, and other fields of mutual interest.
Additionally, promotion of closer relations between the two sisterly countries will have vital contribution to the well-being of their people and to the promotion of peace, security and stability in the Horn of Africa and Southern Red Sea.