Nigeria, Ethiopia sign visa waiver agreement

Nigeria and Ethiopia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on waiver of visa requirements for diplomatic and official passport holders. This was disclosed by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement released via Twitter on Wednesday.

The agreement was signed by Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and his counterpart from Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew. It was witnessed by President Muhammadu Buhari and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

According to the statement, the Ethiopian Prime Minister and President Buhari had talked about possible ways and areas to collaborate in a bid to further enhance and expand the Nigeria-Ethiopia bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefits of the two countries.

Why this matters: The visa waiver agreement will reportedly help to ease the movement of officials between the two countries and strengthen the bilateral relations. Also, both countries agreed to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation with the aim of coordinating efforts to fight against terrorism while also securing peace and stability in their regions as well as Africa as a whole.

The Defence Cooperation agreement will also enhance bilateral military cooperation in the areas of training and education, technical assistance, exchange of visits and defence technology transfer. It entails cooperation in peace support operation issues within the framework of the respective laws of the parties and on a reciprocal basis.

Bilateral Air Services and cultural cooperation Agreement: The statement disclosed that the country leaders were also considering signing two agreements called 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.

Buhari reportedly expressed appreciation to the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia for their hospitality during his visit as he urged them to also pay a reciprocal visit to Nigeria.

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