Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Eritrean officials visit Ethiopia for first time since 1998



The first high-level Eritrean delegation in decades has reached Ethiopia for a visit which could ease decades of military tension.
Eritrea won independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year conflict - but a border war five years later killed tens of thousands.
Diplomatic ties have been cut between the two countries for almost 20 years.
Last week, Ethiopia's prime minister said he would accept a peace deal awarding Eritrea disputed territory.
The deal, agreed by a border commission in 2002, had never formally been accepted by his country.
Abiy Ahmed became prime minister after his predecessor resigned in February, and has enacted a series of reforms since.
On Sunday, a political rally he attended was hit by a grenade blast which killed two people and injured dozens, though Mr Ahmed was uninjured.
The Eritrean delegation, led by Foreign Minister Osman Saleh, was greeted by the prime minister in Addis Ababa, where a literal red carpet was rolled out and the visitors were offered garlands of flowers.
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) walks with Eritrea's Foreign minister Osman Saleh Mohammed (R) as Eritrea's delegation arrives for peace talks with Ethiopia at the international airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 26, 2018.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionEthiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed, left, greets Eritrea's Foreign Minister Osman Saleh
Ethiopian elders, religious figures, and traditional dancers were all part of the welcoming committee.
In the streets of the capital, a poster showing both flags together with a message of welcome hung from buildings.
Writing on Twitter, Mr Ahmed's chief of staff said the prime minster "hopes the visit will lay the foundation for a much brighter future for Ethiopia [and] Eritrea".

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