The President of Eritrea will visit Ethiopia to consolidate a historic truce

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The president of Eritrea will make a historic visit to Ethiopia this weekend, cementing an astonishing rapprochement with his giant neighbor after a generation of mutual hatred and distrust.

PHOTO OF THE ARCHIVE: The Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed and the President of Eritrea Isaias Afwerki embrace in the declaration signed in Asmara, Eritrea on July 9, 2018 in this photo obtained from social networks on July 10, 2018. GHIDEON MUSA ARON VISAFRIC / via REUTERS [19659003] Isaias Afwerki will arrive in Ethiopia on Saturday, Eritrea Information Minister Yemane Meskel said on Friday after residents declared on Monday that their "state of war" had ended .

The rapid changes come after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a peace initiative last month. He visited the capital of Eritrea last weekend and signed a pact with Isaiah to resume relations, a move that ended a military confrontation almost 20 years after a border war.

"President Isaias Afwerki will lead a delegation and make an official visit to Ethiopia tomorrow, July 14," Yemane tweeted.

"The visit will be further consolidated / will add momentum to the joint march for peace and the cooperation launched by both leaders".

The neighbors of the Horn of Africa agreed to open embbadies, develop ports and resume flights, specifically signs of rapprochement after two decades of hostility since the war broke out on their disputed border in 1998.

The chief of staff of Abiy tweeted that the visit will last three days.

Reconciliation could transform politics and security in the volatile region of Horn, which hundreds of thousands of young people have fled in search of safety and opportunities in Europe.

Under the new reformist prime minister, Ethiopia is opening up to the outside world after decades of relative isolation obsessed with security.

Since taking office in April, Abiy has announced plans to partially open up the economy, including raising foreign capital in the state telecommunications company and the national airline. The country, with a population of 100 million people, has experienced rapid economic growth in the last decade.

Report of Aaaron Maasho; Written by Maggie Fick; Edition by Janet Lawrence


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