Maqale(kalitimes) 13 January, 2019. Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael the Deputy and acting President of Tigrai state in northern Ethiopia said his state government will start direct talks with the government of the nation of Eritrea which borders Ethiopia in the north.
In a press statement he gave to local media outlets today, Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael said there has been many occasions where talks has been held between top level Eritrean government officials and Tigrai state officials, but not between the president of Eritrea and Tigrai state president. The first meaningful talk between President Isaias and Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael the Deputy President of Tigrai state was held last week when they met at the opening ceremony of Humera- Oum Hajer border crossing.
Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael said the two leaders of Eritrea and Tigrai state talked extensively about the relationship between the nation of Eritrea and Tigrai state and President Isaias Afwerki shown his desire to talk with Tigrai state leaders. Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael added the Tigrai state leaders also have similar wish to sit and talk directly with Eritrean government. He said talking to Tigrai indirectly through the federal government will not work and is not working to resolve the existing problems between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael reiterated having direct talks between Eritrea and Tigrai is not only important to the state of Tigrai and Eritrea as a country, it is vital for the overall health of Ethiopian and Eritrean relationship.
The Eritrean president and Tigrai state Deputy President agreed to have direct talks soon without specifying the exact date and place where the talks will take place.
This is great start if it they actually go through with their promise to discuss their differences. Trying to exclude Tigrai state government and people from talks with Eritrea is the most ridicules policy of Prime Minister Abiy and it is starting to backfire at him. It is very wise for President Isaias Afwerki to change his attitude towards the government of Tigrai. If the country of Eritrea wanted to have real healthy economic, social, trade, and security relationship, it has to start with the state of Ethiopia that controls 75% of the land connection and three of the main border crossings that link Eritrea and Ethiopia. The rel tie between Tigrai and Eritrea beyond simple trade and economics, it is about people. As we have seen it in the past four months there is no force that would cut the blood cord between the people on both sides of the border.