By Elias Gebreselassie

Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir has decided to pardon all Ethiopians serving time in Sudanese prisons for various offences, the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Thursday.

In a press statement MoFa, told Xinhua the decision by Sudanese President was taken after a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. The soon to be released Ethiopians will be given the option to stay in Sudan or return to their homeland to continue their regular activities.

Already last February Sudan pardoned 57 Ethiopians serving prison sentences ranging from 10-20 years accused of participating on a range of criminal activities including money laundering and human trafficking. The statement from MoFA also said Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to work together on connecting each other with rail lines.

MoFA, further stated Al-Bashir and Ahmed have agreed landlocked Ethiopia will acquire shares in Sudanese ports while Sudan and Ethiopia will jointly develop port infrastructure. Sudan and Ethiopia enjoy close diplomatic, economic and military ties. Sudan has also thrown its support behind a controversial 6450 megawatts hydro dam Ethiopia is building on Blue Nile river near Sudanese border underscoring the strong ties between the two nations.