Nigeria and Ethiopia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation in a bid to realise a peaceful and secure African continent.
Both countries, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, also signed an agreement exempting officials and diplomatic travellers from both countries from obtaining travel visas.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed witnessed the signing of the agreement on Tuesday in Addis Ababa by the two countries’ Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Gedu Andargachew, during the Nigerian leader’s state visit.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister and President Buhari 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.
The visa waiver agreement is expected to ease travels by officials and contribute to further strengthening of bilateral relations.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation is 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 MoU will also enhance bilateral military cooperation in the areas of training and education, technical assistance, exchange of visits and defence technology transfer.
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.
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 extended an invitation to Ahmed to pay a reciprocal State Visit to Nigeria on mutually convenient dates.