Eritrean President arrives in Ethiopia on a working visit

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki met for the first time since PM Abiy won the Nobel Peace Prize. State owned Fana Broadcasting reported that President Isaias Afwerki paid a visit to the beautifying Sheger project and Entoto observatory and research center.

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 & regional matters,” Yemane wrote.

Abiy’s office and a spokesman for Ethiopia’s foreign affairs ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After the two leaders first met and embraced on the tarmac in Asmara, the Eritrean capital, last year, they reopened embassies, resumed flights and held a series of meetings across the region.

I am happy to welcome again to his second home my comrade-in-peace, President Isaias Afeworki and his delegation. pic.twitter.com/jGKqUWEX41— Abiy Ahmed Ali (@AbiyAhmedAli) December 25, 2019

But the initial optimism fueled by these gestures has faded, and citizens of both countries complain that they are still waiting for meaningful change.

During the Nobel award ceremony in Oslo earlier this month, Norwegian Nobel Committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Anderson noted that the peace process “seems to be at a standstill,” with border crossings closed and little apparent progress on border demarcation efforts.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President in Addis Ababa, Dec 25, 2019 Image Credit Fana

She said the committee hoped the Nobel would “spur the parties to further implementation of the peace treaties.”

Isaias and Abiy last met in Asmara in July.

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

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