Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki pledged to resolve his country’s dispute with Ethiopia on Saturday, in a historic visit to Addis Ababa aimed at cementing peace less than a week after the nations declared an end to their two decades of conflict.

Mr. Isaias arrived in the Ethiopian capital just five days after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Eritrea as part of a dizzying peace process aimed at ending years of violence and animosity between the neighbours who were once part of the same nation.

Mr. Abiy and Mr. Isaias shared laughs and hugs at an official lunch on Saturday as the Ethiopian leader said his counterpart was “beloved, respected and missed by the Ethiopian people.”

“We are no longer people of two countries. We are one,” Mr. Isaias told political and cultural elites gathered in a palace built during Ethiopia’s imperial days.

Mr. Isaias started his three-day visit at Addis Ababa’s airport, where he and Mr. Abiy strode down a red carpet as a brass band played and traditional dancers cheered.

Welcome home President Isaias!!” Mr. Abiy’s chief of staff Fitsum Arega wrote on Twitter as the Eritrean leader arrived.

Eritrea was once part of Ethiopia and comprised its entire coastline on the Red Sea until it voted for independence in 1993 after decades of bloody conflict.

Source: Read Full Article