Ethiopian Prime Minister to make historic visit to Asmara, Eritrea

According to several unconfirmed reports on social media, Ethiopian reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is expected to visit Eritrea as soon as Sunday. There are no official announcement from the Ethiopian government, but pictures posted on social media show a major preparation underway in the Eritrean capital Asmara and other cities. Ethiopian flag and welcome banners are being put up throughout the city.

The Associated Press reported few days ago that the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea will meet “soon” amid a surprising diplomatic thaw between the rival nations, Ethiopia’s top diplomat said Thursday, as an end to one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts appeared to move closer. Eritrean high-level delegation visited Ethiopia last month for the first time in two decades and a visit by Ethiopian Prime Minister to Eritrea would be historic.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed surprised the region last month by fully embracing the 2000 peace deal that ended the war that killed tens of thousands. Ethiopia had refused to accept the deal’s handing of key locations to Eritrea and the countries have skirmished over the years. In a highly symbolic move, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia personally greeted the Eritrean delegation at the airport as they were draped with necklaces of flowers.

Ethiopian Airlines also announced plans to start commercial flights to Eritrea in September.

 

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