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Inside Eritrean President's state visit to Ethiopia

By East Africa correspondent , Garowe Online

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - In what has now transgressed into a norm, Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki visited Addis Ababa on Wednesday, a trip that further reaffirms PM Abiy Ahmed's revolutionary peace approach.

Abiy welcomed Isaias at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport, Ethiopia's state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate said.

The trip comes barely a fortnight after Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize ostensibly for signing a peace treaty with Eritrea.

Bilateral relations between the two countries which have been at loggerheads for two decades will feature the talks between the two, Fana said.

"During his stay in Ethiopia, the Eritrean president is expected to meet with Ethiopian officials to discuss bilateral issues."

According to Fana, "peace, friendship and economic cooperation and integration commenced between the two sisterly countries".

Isaias was accompanied by Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Yemane Gebreab, a presidential advisor, according to a post on Twitter by Eritrean Information Minister Yemane G. Meskel.

"The two leaders will discuss enhancement of important bilateral and regional matters," Yemane wrote.

Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nebiat Getachew told Anadolu Agency that the two countries "were working to institutionalize bilateral ties in a wide range of areas".

Upon returning from Oslo to Ethiopia this month, Abiy expressed hope that the two leaders would be able to meet "soon".

On his Twitter after receiving the Eritrean President, Abiy said that he was "happy to welcome again to his second home my comrade-in-peace, President Isaias Afeworki, and his delegation."

A two-decade war had literally strained the relationship between the two nations and it took the effort of Abiy to call for a truce in 2018.

Besides reopening their embassies, the two leaders have already reintroduced air travels, power transmission among other trade ties within a year.

Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1993 but five years later, a civil war ensued following a disputed territory that Ahmed has since promised to surrender.

Ahmed has been instrumental in the peacekeeping process in the Horn of Africa, even though he is struggling to restore normalcy in his own country

Since taking over, enhanced freedom of speech and media has degenerated into ethnic violence in Ethiopia in which over 100 people have already died.


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