East Africa bloc commends historic meeting of Ethiopian, Eritrean leaders
(EBC; July 9, 2018) - The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) hailed on Sunday the historic meeting of Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders after 20 years of hostility.
On Sunday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed became the first Ethiopian leader to visit Eritrea in more than 20 years.
Ahmed was greeted at the Asmara International Airport by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and is expected to hold discussions on efforts to bring lasting peace between the two nations.
The visit comes after the two countries started tentative steps to end a two-decades-old bitter border dispute that led to a bloody war from 1998 to 2000 which left an estimated 70,000 people dead from both sides.
In a press statement, IGAD Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim said the normalization of bilateral ties would benefit the peoples of the two countries and would contribute to the realization of the shared aspiration of peace and integration in the East African region and the African continent.
Ethiopia and Eritrea are members of the eight-country trade bloc whose mission is to economically integrate the East African region.