Ethiopia Govt. Considers Offering Stake in Ethiopian Airlines for Port Access to Eritrea
Reports suggest that Ethiopia, a landlocked country, is considering using Ethiopian Airlines as leverage by proposing to sell 30% of the airline to the Eritrean government in exchange for port access. The Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, allegedly made these remarks during a meeting in Addis Ababa, but their authenticity remains unverified.
Ethiopia is exploring various options to secure a port, including negotiations with Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somaliland. However, Eritrea reportedly rejected the airline offer in the initial round of talks.
Abiy mentioned that the government would prefer peaceful means to obtain a port but is open to considering force as a last resort.
The lack of port access has been viewed as a significant obstacle to Ethiopia’s economic development, despite forging a peace agreement with Eritrea in 2018 to restore relations between the two neighboring countries. It currently relies on Djibouti and Somaliland to import and export goods.