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Eritrea's Isaias Afwerki in historic Ethiopia visit

Sunday July 15 2018


A woman takes a selfie while holding on her head the flags of Eritrea and Ethiopia, during the celebrations for the arrival of the Eritrean President to Addis Ababa on July 14, 2018. PHOTO | STRINGER | AFP 

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Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki arrived in Ethiopia on Saturday in a historic visit to cement peace between the two neighbours following two decades of hostilities.

President Afeworki along with his delegation arrived in Addis Ababa in the morning for a three-day State visit.

He was received at the airport by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and was greeted by traditional dancers and marching bands.

Thousands of Ethiopians donning t-shirts with pictures of the two leaders and white shawls waved miniature flags of the two nations and cheered along the streets of the capital.

President Afeworki's motorcade was led by Oromo horsemen.


His visit comes just five days after Prime Minister Abiy visited Asmara on Sunday and signed a deal declaring an end to the state of war between the two countries.

A former Ethiopian province, Eritrea seceded in 1993 after decades of bloody conflict.

Relations deteriorated further with the outbreak of war between 1998-2000 claiming some 80,000 lives.

Resuming of ties began last month after reformist Dr Abiy announced that Ethiopia would implement the UN-mediated Algiers peace agreement signed by the two countries in December 2000 to end the war. The premier said Addis would hand back disputed border territory.

The Horn of Africa neighbours have agreed to open embassies, resume flights, develop sea ports and reopen link roads.

On Monday, President Afeworki is expected to open his country's embassy in Addis.