Eritrea and Ethiopia intend to re-establish diplomatic and trade ties after decades of a protracted conflict.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki made the announcement during historic meeting hosted in Eritrean capital Asmara.
It is the first time the leaders from the two East African neighbours have met in almost two decades of a protracted territorial conflict.
Cut off sea Ethiopia, the second most populated country in Africa, slided into a protracted conflict with its former province Eritrea, which declared independence and established its control over the sea coast, impacting Ethiopia’ geopolitical and economic situation.
A peace deal was signed in December 2000. However, Ethiopia refused to accept the final ruling of a border commission two years later, which awarded disputed territory to Eritrea, including the town of Badme.
The countries have been on a war footing ever since.
Leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea have met for the first time in more than 20 years amid a recent problems in relations between the two long-time East African rivals.
In a break-through visit, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed landed in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, on Sunday, July 8 for a bilateral summit, aimed at repairing relations between the two countries. Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki warmly greeted Abiy at the airport, Eritrea state television showed.
The visit comes a month after Abiy surprised people by fully accepting a peace deal that ended a protracted conflict between the two countries. From now onwards Eritrea and Ethiopia should agree on durable adjustments that would need comprehensive cooperation, good faith and diplomacy to establish, and respect borders.
Additionally, the countries may opt to swap lands to avoid potential border disputes, Daily Sabah reports. All these demand thoughtful coordination between the two parties. Fourthly, parties would have to agree on areas to establish border and customs posts. This, too, requires the two countries to work together closely. Finally, as a sign of goodwill, the two countries would have to shun and renounce the use of opposition groups and proxies against each other.