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(AP) Italy's PM heads to Eritrea to pursue 'rapport' with leader

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Friday, 12 October 2018

Italy's PM heads to Eritrea to pursue 'rapport' with leader

    JOHANNESBURG — Oct 12, 2018, 5:00 AM ET

Italy's prime minister is visiting Eritrea to support its surprising new peace with neighboring Ethiopia as the world waits to see what happens next in one of the world's most closed-off nations.

Premier Giuseppe Conte says Friday's visit is aimed at backing the peace process, not to make any specific requests. Eritrea is a major source of migrants heading toward Europe, with over 7,000 arriving in Italy last year. Arrivals have dropped to just above 3,000 this year.

Conte says that "it is important that also the Western world creates a rapport with the Eritrean president."

Eritrea's information minister says Conte will discuss bilateral cooperation and "international matters of mutual interest" with longtime President Isaias Afwerki.

Interest is growing in the country and its strategic location on the Red Sea.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed receives and welcomes  PM  Giuseppe Conte of Italy at Bole International Airport. PM Conte is in Ethiopia for his two days official visit. The two countries have deep and historic relations. The visit will further deepen the relations

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