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Ethiopia’s Prime Minister visits Eritrean president for peace discussions

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is on a two-day state visit to Asmara where he is holding talks with the Eritrean president Issias Afeworki.

Although relations have come a long way since the Ethiopian Prime Minister (PM) made some meaningful overtures towards Asmara soon after taking over, residues of the bad blood between Addis Ababa and Asmara remain.

The Horn of Africa neighbours fought to a bitter stalemate in the turn of the century with relations only improving over the past 12 months.

PM Ahmad’s talks with Aferworki are focusing on further deepening the ongoing peace process and all-round cooperation between Addis Ababa and Asmara on the basis of a Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship signed on 9 July 2018.

On Friday, 19 July 2019, Yemane Gebremeskel, Eritrea’s Minister of Information, said that the two leaders further agreed to broaden the positive ramifications of the peace process and robust cooperation.

The Ethiopian leader’s visit to Eritrea comes as relations suffer a slight blip following the closure of all border roads linking the two neighbours.

The Bure-Assab was closed four days after the closure of Omhajer-Humera border, which is found in the north western part of Ethiopia and Southwest of Eritrea.

The roads closure was blamed on Asmara.

The Bure-Assab road was officially opened in the presence of PM Ahmad and President Aferworki shortly after the two countries agreed to end a two-decade hostility in 2018.

Since then although political relations between the two leaders have not gathered steam, the economic and communal bonds of Ethiopians and Eritreans were taking a firmer hold with a burgeoning border trade in which currencies of both nations were used.

– APA

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