“Complementarity of both peoples and countries, their common bilateral interests, and prosperity, are sacrosanct objectives to which we have toiled and paid sacrifices for two generations. As such, it remains a priority for which we will be actively engaged.” – President Isaias Afwerki
The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea met Sunday morning in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara in a historic summit that heralds the end of the near 20-year military stand-off and the beginning of normalization of relations.
President Isaias warmly greeted the Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and his high-level Ethiopian delegation at Asmara International Airport.
In a scene unimaginable just weeks ago, PM Abiy stepped from an Ethiopian Airlines plane at the airport in Asmara, greeting Isaias and hugging him graciously before the pair strode off along a red carpet.
Sunday’s meeting is the first of its kind in two decades between the leaders of the two neighbors.
Thousands of residents of Asmara took to the streets, from the airport to the State House, to greet the Ethiopian delegation with an overwhelming joy and love.
Ahead of Abiy’s arrival, Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane Gebrmeskel wrote on Twitter:
“This historic official visit, and the summit that will take place … heralds a new era of peace and cooperation.”
Abiy’s chief of staff Fitsum Arega also wrote on Twitter:
“Our two nations share a history and bond like no other. We can now overcome two decades of mistrust and move in a new direction.”
The United States Embassy in Asmara also lauds the courageous steps the two leaders took towards peace.
“Ethiopia and Eritrea have a critical role in promoting stability and prosperity in the Horn of Africa. The United States looks forward to a full normalization of relations and the realization of our shared aspirations for both countries to enjoy enduring peace and development,” reads the Facebook message from the US Embassy.
Last month, a high-level Eritrean delegation visited Addis Ababa for the first time since 1998 following PM Abiy’s announcement last month that Ethiopia will “unconditionally” accept the 2000 Algiers Agreement and the 2002 United Nations-backed boundary demarcation decisions.