Djibouti, Eritrea agree to normalize relations

(EBC; September 7, 2018) - Eritrea and Djibouti have agreed to normalize ties following a regional meeting, ministers said yesterday, a decade after a border spat led to brief military clashes.

“After a long period of separation, Eritrea and Djibouti have agreed to restore ties,” Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu said on his Facebook page.

The leaders of Ethiopia and Somalia, who met Eritrea’s president Isaias Afewerki in Asmara on Wednesday, had agreed to initiate dialogue to resolve the longstanding border dispute.

Djibouti yesterday welcomed a high level delegation composed of the three foreign ministers of Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

‘‘This is the season for peace in the Horn of Africa and this peace should be inclusive to all,” read part of President Isaias’ message to his counterpart, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.

Eritrea’s information minister, Yemane Gebre-Meskel said Guelleh had told the delegation that ‘Djibouti is ready for reconciliation’.

Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf said: “With the truthful willingness demonstrated by Eritrea and Djibouti to make peace, all other pending issues will find their way to resolution.”

The rapproachment follows the dramatic thaw in relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which declared an end to their state of war in July and agreed to open embassies, develop ports and resume flights between the two countries after two decades of hostilities.