Italy to build Ethiopia, Eritrea railway link

The Government of Italy expressed its interest to help Ethiopia and Eritrea link via railway network.

Prime Minister of Italy Guiseppe Conte expressed his government’s interest to cover the feasibility study cost for the railway project that links Addis Ababa with Massawa of Eritrea.

He made the remark today after meeting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia who is on official visit to Rome. Commenting on Italy’s support, Prime Minister Abiy expressed his gratitude for the government of Italy.

“We are excited and accept with great honor Italia’s plan to extend support our plan to link Addis Ababa with Massawa via railway,” Prime Minister Abiy said. The distance between Addis Ababa and Massawa is 736 kilometers (457 miles).

Prime Minister Conte has also expressed his government’s plan to extend support to the soldiers returning from the Ethiopia-Eritrea border following the peace agreement between the two east African neighbors.

Italy to build Ethiopia, Eritrea railway link
Italy to build Ethiopia, Eritrea railway link

Prime Minister Abiy was also received by Giuseppe Conte in an official welcoming ceremony at Palazzo Chigi. The counterparts held bi-lateral discussions during which they agreed to take their cooperation to the next level in the Addis Ababa – Massawa railway line.

Support in projects to tackle food insecurity of school-aged children was also agreed, building on Italy’s long term commitment to development cooperation.

Prime Minister Abiy visited St Stephen of the Abyssinians Church located in Vatican City. He was received by Cardinal Berhane Yesus, who recognized the Prime Minister for the peace bridge that has been built between Ethiopia and Eritrea on his initiation.

Most of Ethiopia’s hydropower dams including the around $6 billion Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dan under construction, are built by the Italian company, Salini Impregilo.

In the last leg of the Rome visit, Prime Minister Abiy met with His Holiness Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City. He also held discussions with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See. The discussion focused on issues of common interest to both Ethiopia and the Vatican City State.

Completing his two days visit in Italy, Prime Minister Abiy has arrived Switzerland this evening to attend the Davos World Economic Forum.