Authorities in Eritrea said they would not be drawn into conversations about Ethiopia’s access to the Red Sea following controversial comments from Addis Ababa.
While addressing lawmakers, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said access to the Red Sea is a matter of existence for his country.
“The Red Sea and the Nile River define Ethiopia; They are the foundations for Ethiopia’s development or its demise,” Mr Abiy said.
Ethiopia became Africa’s largest landlocked country following Eritrea’s secession from it in 1993. It has since depended on its tiny neighbor Djibouti for over 85% of its imports and exports.
Ethiopia previously announced a plan to rebuild its navy a few years ago. Mr Abiy listed ports in Eritrea, Djbouti and Somaliland as facitilities that could be obtained peacefully.