July 9, 2018 (Kaafimedia) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Sunday arrived in Asmara in a historical visit marking his determination to amend relationship between the two countries and reconcile the two nations after more than 20 years of war and desolations.
Abiy who survived an assassination attempt after announcing his intention to render the disputed Badme to Eritrea was embraced at his arrival by the Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki at the Asmara Airport and warmly welcomed by Eritrean people who lined the streets to salute him.
The emotional visit takes place after a visit to Addis Ababa last month by two senior Eritrean officials: foreign minister Osman Saleh and presidential adviser Yemane Gebreab.
Talks between the visiting prime minister with President Afwerki tackled ways “to set the tone for rapid, positive changes on the basis of respect of sovereignty & territorial integrity, equality and mutual interest of both countries,” twitted Yemane Meskel, Eritrea information minister.
The Ethiopian prime minister was flanked by his Foreign Minister Werkneh Gebeyehu, Foreign Minister, Speaker of the House of Peoples’ Representatives Ms Mufteriat Kamil, Speaker of the Ethiopian House of Federation Ms Keria Ibrahim, and President of Afar Regional State Haj Seyum.
Ibrahim’s presence among the visiting delegation indicates that the issue of the Horn of Africa’s Afar ethnic group will be discussed during the visit as the Afar rebels of southern Eritrea are present in Ethiopia.
Speaking at a dinner reception, the Ethiopian leader on Sunday evening announced the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the opening of embassies, resumption of direct flights between the two countries.
He further said the two countries “will solve the other little issues as we go along”
Also, Abiy’s Chief of Staff, Fitsum Arega announced that the direct international telephone connection between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been restored on Sunday for the first time in twenty years.
The rapprochement between the two countries is welcomed by the region’s countries and the international community as it will bring regional stability and enhance regional economic and security cooperation along the Horn of Africa countries.
African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui welcomed Abiy’s visit to Asmara and described it as a “historical day”
“Congratulations to the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea for their exemplary leadership that will greatly contribute towards silencing the guns on the African continent by 2020. This is indeed a historical day for the peoples of the two countries. May their wisdom inspire others,” he said in a twit released on Sunday.