Germany has voiced unequivocal support for the newfound rapprochement between old foes, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
In a statement on Thursday, 24 January 2019, ahead of a visit to both countries, Minister of State, Michelle Müntefering, said international partners should seize the opportunity to constructively engage both countries with a view to accelerate development in the Horn of Africa region.
“We are currently observing an unforeseen political transformation in the Horn of Africa. The peace process that has now been launched between Ethiopia and Eritrea harbours vast potential for the entire region. We intend to continue to support this process,” the German official said.
Michelle Müntefering said in respect of Eritrea, she would encourage Germany’s international partners to apply soft pressure on Asmara to cooperate on human rights issues and in the area of culture, economic reforms and investment.
Müntefering said while in Ethiopia, she will engage cultural and civil society representatives, who play a crucial role in creating an open society.
Since coming to power in 2018, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, had reached out to his Eritrean counterpart, Issias Afewerki, settling a long standing dispute with Asmara.
The Horn of Africa neighbours fought a bitter two-year border conflict which led to the deaths of over 1000 combatants.