ADDIS ABABA – The African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) have hailed the latest development in the relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
As the two neighbouring East African countries have started steps in normalising relations since they fought a border war in the years between 1998 and 2000, various organizations have commended the countries for their positive moves.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in the Eritrean capital Asmara on Sunday, the first visit by an Ethiopian leader to Eritrea in 20 years, and he was given a warm welcome.
Upon arrival at the Asmara International Airport on Sunday, Abiy Ahmed was greeted by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, and the two sides agreed among others, to resume air service, ports use, and diplomatic ties.
This has come after the Executive Committee of Ethiopia’s ruling party, the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front, passed a decision on June 5 expressing Ethiopia’s commitment to an unconditional implementation of Algiers peace agreement with Eritrea.
In the same month, Ethiopia also received a high-level Eritrean delegation led by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Salah, the first high-level Eritrean delegation to visit Ethiopia in 20 years.
Speaking to the press on Monday here in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, hailed the recent development.
“The visit of the prime minister of Ethiopia to Eritrea is an amazing success,” said Guterres, “I believe that recent evolution in relation between Eritrea and Ethiopia is very important signal not only for the two countries, not only for Africa, (but also) for the whole world.”
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the AU Commission has reiterated that they support the normalisation of relations between the two countries.
“We appreciate political courage of the prime minister of Ethiopia who has taken this initiative; he has accepted to respect what was adopted 20 years ago and since yesterday he has been in Asmara. We have seen the warm welcome that has been accorded to him to share that African peoples want peace and stability on the continent,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has hailed the historic meeting of Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders after 20 years of hostility.
In a press statement, IGAD Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim has said the normalisation of bilateral ties would benefit the peoples of the two countries and would contribute to the realization of the shared aspiration of peace and integration in the East African region and the African continent.
Ethiopian media outlet Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed concluded his two-day visit to Eritrea on Monday, and the leaders of the two countries discussed and reached agreements to make up for lost opportunities, putting the interest and aspirations of their peoples at the center.
Upon the conclusion of the visit, the two parties agreed that state of war has come to an end; the two nations will forge close political, economic, social, cultural and security cooperation; trade, economic and diplomatic ties will resume; the boundary decision will be implemented; and both nations will work on regional peace, according to the report.