Nigeria, Ethiopia sign visa waiver agreement, MoU on defence cooperation 

Nigeria and Ethiopia have signed a visa waiver agreement for diplomatic and official passport holders, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the field of Defence.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), President Buhari and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed witnessed the signing of the agreement Tuesday in Addis Ababa by their Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Gedu Andargachew, respectively, during the State Visit of the Nigerian leader.

The statement informed that earlier while meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, President Buhari had discussed how to explore new areas of collaboration to further enhance and expand Nigeria-Ethiopia bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefits of the two countries.

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According to the statement, the visa waiver agreement is expected to ease travels by officials and contribute to further strengthening of bilateral relations.

It described the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation as important to both countries in the coordination of efforts in the fight against terrorism and securing peace and stability in their respective sub-regions, as well as on the continent of Africa.

The statement explained that the MoU will also enhance bilateral military cooperation in the areas of training and education, technical assistance, exchange of visits and defence technology transfer.

The statement added: “It also entails cooperation in peace support operation issues within the framework of the respective laws of the Parties and on a reciprocal basis.

“Both sides agreed to swiftly conclude negotiations on the revised Bilateral Air Services Agreement and the MoU on cultural cooperation.

“The consummation of these two agreements will provide veritable platforms for deepening existing air transport services, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two countries.”

President Buhari expressed gratitude to the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia for the warm and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the visit.

He further extended an invitation to Prime Minister Ahmed to pay a reciprocal State Visit to Nigeria on mutually convenient dates.

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