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.