Kenya and Eritrea have resolved to permanently abolish visa requirements for their respective citizens.
President William Ruto and his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki said the move will facilitate growth in trade and connectivity between the citizens and business in the two countries.
"To facilitate growth in trade and connectivity between our people and business, we have agreed to abolish the requirement of visas permanently, effective today," said President Ruto.
In a meeting held at the State House, Nairobi, on Thursday, the two Heads of States said they have instructed their respective ministries of interior to work on the modalities for the ratification of the directive.
They said the move will bolster bilateral relations, improve people-to-people ties besides entrenching regional integration for prosperity.
As part of the efforts to further enhance bilateral relations and regional integration, President Ruto thanked President Afwerki for his commitment to review his country's participation in IGAD.
Dr Ruto said the move will strengthen IGAD and make it effectively respond to the needs of the region.
" I thank President Afwerki most sincerely for his commitment to review his participation in our regional organization IGAD," said President Ruto.
He added:" I look forward to working closely with him and the rest of the member states to re-engineer IGAD, make it fit for purpose and enable it to respond effectively to the needs of our region " said President Ruto.
At the same time, President Ruto, announced that Kenya will open a diplomatic mission representation in Asmara, Eritrea.
He said his administration was committed to deepen and strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
"I wish to confirm, today, that Kenya will open a diplomatic mission representation in Asmara. I have consequently instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to commence the process of operationalizing this immediately," said President Ruto.
The two Presidents said they have signed a framework agreement for cooperation which will form the basis for elaborating joint action across the various sectors.
President Afwerki praised President Ruto for his concerted efforts in ensuring peace is prevailed in Somalia and South Sudan among other areas in the region.
"You are inspiring millions of our people in IGAD for your concerted efforts in search for peace besides ensuring free movement of goods and people in order to encourage growth of trading activities in our region," said President Afwerki.
He said it's through teamwork among IGAD member countries can prosper on peace efforts and the attainment of development.
"We will like to proof that this time round things will be done differently in our region," said President Afwerki.
Earlier, the two leaders held a bilateral talks where they agreed to develop comprehensive plans of cooperation in various sectors.
The areas of focus included; agriculture, trade and investment; air transport; mining, education, renewable energy, water management, tourism, the blue economy and regional integration.
President Ruto thanked President Afwerki for his gracious support of Kenya, including during 'our campaign for the United Nations Security Council seat'.
" I have no doubt, that stronger cooperation will go a long way in driving the African agenda at the global level," said Dr Ruto.
Kenya, Eritrea resolve to abolish visa requirements
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