ASMARA (HAN) December 30, 2015 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Stability Initiatives News. By: Amb. Cohen, The former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Hey, all you Abyssinians out there. While you are wasting time squabbling with each other and not talking to each other, the governments of the Arabian Peninsula are eating your lunch. Have you noticed that warships from the United Arab Emirates are operating out of the port of Asab 24/7? Their interest is in Yemen, not in Eritrea or Ethiopia.
There are reports that Saudi Arabia has taken a 50-year lease on Asab. If that is true, the next step will be Sharia Law in the Horn of Africa big time. I think it is time for Abyssinians to take back control of the west bank of the Red Sea before it is too late. One way to accomplish this is for Eritrea and Ethiopia to finally end the war of 1998-2000 and normalize relations. It can be done as a win-win.
Eritrea and Ethiopia should send delegations to a neutral venue, like Geneva. With the two delegations present, the following agreements will be signed:
- Badme will be returned to Eritrean control pursuant to the Algerian arbitration agreement.
- Immediately after the symbolic return of Badme to Eritrean control in a brief ceremony in the morning, that afternoon, the two delegations will negotiate the following agreements:
- Each government will guarantee that its territory will not be allowed to be used by elements hostile to the other government as a base for destabilization of the other government.
- Pre-war economic relations will be restored to the status quo ante, including a dedicated duty-free Ethiopian section of Asab Port under a 50-year lease at an indexed rental.
- The IMF will be requested to establish a currency exchange daily settlement regime between the Birrh and the Nakfa.
- There will be free movement of persons between the two countries, including the right to work and establish businesses.
- There will be embassies established in both countries with an exchange of ambassadors.
- The border will be totally demilitarized.
- Merchandise produced in each country will not be subject to trade duties in the movement between the two countries. The two countries will have a common external tariff.
- Establishment of security control and the exploitation of resources in the Red Sea will be joint.
Upon the signature of a final normalization agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the following will take place:
- The United Nations Security Council will lift sanctions against Eritrea.
- Eritrea and Ethiopia will jointly negotiate Red Sea security agreements with Arab countries bordering on the water way.
- Eritrea and Ethiopia will jointly guarantee the security and neutrality of the State of Djibouti.
- Eritrea and Ethiopia will agree to exchange intelligence about terrorist activity in the Horn of Africa.
The foregoing is a list of ideas that are out on the table. It is imperative that Ethiopia and Eritrea begin to normalize. Otherwise, the countries east of the Red Sea will make major inroads west of the Red Sea to the detriment of both countries as well as to American interests. Source: cohenonafrica