The 26 Km long Arbatasher (Al-Lafa) -Kassala asphalt road today, Wednesday 26th October 2011, officially inaugurated in Kassala.
President Isaias Afwerki, Sheikh Hamed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, and President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir of Sudan attended the inauguration ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, President Isaias congratulated the people of Sudan and their leadership in general and the inhabitants of Kassala region in particular. He also expressed appreciation for the Emir of Qatar for his leading role in our region and the world at large, as well as his contribution towards promoting stability and development in Sudan.
“The ceremony we are presently attending attests to the outcome of such contribution,” Present Isaias elaborated.
Moreover, he expressed conviction that the implementation of development programs in Eastern Sudan would be a solid bridge for strengthening ties between the people of Eritrea and Sudan. In addition, the President wished the people of Kassala region development and prosperity.
Similarly, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani lauded Eritrean-Sudanese relations and the contribution it is making towards fostering mutual benefit. “The asphalt road inaugurated today would further reinforce this historical and amicable relationship,” he added.
Likewise, President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir declared: “Fighter Isaias Afwerki lived amongst you, among the people of Kassala, enduring hardship and struggled for the liberation of his country. And now together with you, he is celebrating your development.”
The Sudanese leader further explained that Eritrean-Sudanese relations is not only people-based but has also cultural roots, besides being exemplary. He also underlined that the asphalt road constructed with Qatari assistance would have major impact in strengthening the multi-faceted relations between the two peoples.
Furthermore, in a speech he delivered on the occasion, the Administrator of Kassala region, Mr. Mohammed Yusuf Adem, expressed appreciation for the contribution of the people and Government of Eritrea under the leadership of President Isaias for concluding the peace agreement between East Sudan Front and the Government of Sudan. In this regard, he said: “The role of the people and Government of Eritrea occupies a special place in the heart of every Sudanese national.”
Mr. Mohammed Yusuf Adem presented a sword souvenir, a cultural symbol of the Kassala region, to President Isaias, Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and President Omar Hasan Al-Bashir.
The Arbatasher-Kassala road was part of the development program for Eastern Sudan region in line with the peace agreement concluded in Asmara in October 2006 between the Government of Sudan and the East Sudan Front. The project was also funded by the State of Qatar.
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ALl-BASHIR: SUDANESE ERITREAN BOARDERS TO BE INVESTED IN BROAD COOPERATION
President Omar Al-Bashir announced the end of border tension between Sudan and Eritrea forever, adding that borders from now on will be exploited to exchange interests and to boost development in the two countries.
“The biggest free zone in Sudan will be established on our borders with Eritrea soon“, announced Al Bashir, confirming Sudan tendency to remove borders with neighboring Eritrea so as to facilitate movement of people and goods between the two countries.
Addressing a rally in Kassala Stadium Wednesday in presence of Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki and Emir of Qatar Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Al Bashir stated that the continental highway between Sudan and Eritrea inaugurated todays [Wednesday, October 26] will be the first step towards establishment of series of roads linking different parts of Kassala.
Commenting on superiority of relation between Sudan and Eritrea, Al Bashir said that Eritrea was the first country to challenge Ocampo’s International Criminal Court (ICC), through inviting and receiving Al Bashir following the issuance of the so-called ICC arrest warrant immediately.
He also lauded invitation of His Majesty Emir of Qatar Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani to him to attend Doha Conference simultaneously with the issuance of the warrant, expressing earnest appreciation to positive role played by Qatar in hosting and supporting peace negotiations on Darfur crowned by signing of Doha Darfur Peace Document (DDPD). “Thanks to Qatar for shouldering our troubles till embarking on comprehensive document guaranteeing sustainable peace,” said President Al Bashir.
For his side, Emir of Qatar Hamad Bin Khalifa said that goodwill has played the main role in repairing Sudan-Eritrea relations despite past tensions. He added that the continental highway will contribute to sustainability of superior relations between the two neighboring countries, affirming Qatar’s readiness to boost cooperation between Sudan and Eritrea. He further explained that the role played by his country in building the continental highway in addition to de-mining is a complementary role to true will of the two countries to sustain good relations.
Addressing the rally, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki said that Sudan and Eritrea will cooperate to preserve superior relations, lauding efforts carried out by Emir of Qatar to guarantee security and stability in the region, marking projects inaugurated in Kassala as the first step towards comprehensive development expected to persist allover the region.
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EMIR ATTENDS OPENING OF SUDAN – ERITREA HIGHWAY
By Gulf Times,
HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki attended the inauguration ceremony of the continental Kassala-Al Lafa highway, linking Sudan with Eritrea.
Following the opening ceremony HH the Emir attended the mass rally of Kassala province held on the occasion where he delivered an address highlighting the Sudanese-Eritrean relations which have shifted to a deeper and wider stage of co-operation, openness and dialogue based on joint interests and awareness.
HH the Emir also underlined the importance of enhancing regional co-ordination in the Horn of Africa region.
He noted that the Sudan-Eritrea highway was a new chapter in a long record filled with strong brotherly relations between the peoples of the two countries which are closely bound by geography, history and interrupted bonds of humanity.
He recalled that Eritrea had been for thousands of years the mainland of the Arabs to Africa and Sudan and the road of Africans and the Sudanese to the Arab countries, noting that the Hijrah of Prophet Muhammad (peace by upon him) was the most prominent example of such a historical fact.
HH the Emir reiterated Qatar’s constant support to the brethren in Sudan and Eritrea and offering whatever assistance that could further strengthen co-operation and understanding between them.
For his part, President Bashir highlighted in a similar address the determination of the peoples of Sudan and Kassala to invite HH the Emir to attend the opening ceremony of the highway, since he was the first leader who moved to improve the Sudanese-Eritrean relations and whose efforts resulted in peace in Darfur.
Bashir stressed that the highway, which is a generous gift from HH the Emir, would contribute to increasing the movement of citizens and commodities between Sudan and Eritrea.
Eritrean President Afewerki highly praised the leading role Qatar is playing in the region and the world alike and highlighted the influential and effective role Qatar plays for supporting stability and development of Sudan. ‘’What we have seen today proves the historical role of HH the Emir,’’ he said.
The 26.2km-long highway was built at Qatar’s expense and is regarded an economic lifeline and a channel for communication across the border between Sudan and Eritrea and aims to support the economic and integration projects and further enhances the neighbourly relations towards the development and growth prospects between the two countries.
HH the Emir and his accompanying delegation left Kassala yesterday evening concluding a one-day visit to Sudan. They were seen off at Kassala International Airport by Bashir and Afewerki.