Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki (L) and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed walk together at Asmara International Airport.
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki will visit Ethiopia on Saturday, Eritrea’s information minister, Yemane Meskel, said on Friday, days after the two neighbors declared their “state of war” over.
The visit comes after an unexpected peace initiative from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who visited Eritrea and signed a pact with Isaias on resuming ties.
“President Isaias Afwerki will lead a delegation and pay official visit to Ethiopia tomorrow, 14th July,” Yemane tweeted early on Friday.
Under this week’s historic agreement, the Horn of Africa neighbors agreed to open embassies, develop ports and resume flights, in concrete signs of rapprochement after two decades of hostility since war erupted over their disputed border in 1998.
“Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki will arrive in Ethiopia tomorrow for a 3-day state visit upon the invitation of Prime Minister Abiy,” Abiy’s chief of staff, Fitsum Arega, was quoted as announcing by media.
“The visit will strengthen the friendship as well as ties between Ethiopia and Eritrea. We thank President Isaias for honoring us with a visit and we welcome him warmly!”
Normalizing relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea is expected to transform the Horn of Africa region, thus ending decades of animosity during which both countries remained isolated and dominated by their security forces.