The two leaders will meet face to face
The high-level Eritrean delegation headed by Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab concluded their three-day visit and departed to Eritrea on Thursday.
The delegation is the first of its kind to visit Ethiopia after the bloody Ethio-Eritrean border conflict, marking the first high-level contact between the two after two decades of stalemate.
Upon their arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, the delegation received a red carpet welcoming ceremony in the presence of PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and other senior government officials including Foreign Minister, Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD), Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Abraham Tekeste (PhD), Board Chairman of Industrial Parks Development Corporation, Arkebe Oqubay (PhD), and Government Communication Affairs Minister, Ahmed Shide.
Religious leaders, sport personalities, public figures, artists and invited guests were also in attendance of the ceremony to welcome the delegates.
The visit comes after the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) Executive Committee passed a decision to fully accept the Algiers Agreement and the decision of the Ethio-Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC) without any preconditions.
Following the welcoming ceremony, the PM also hosted a state dinner in honor of the Eritrean delegation at the National Palace on the same day.
Speaking on the occasion, the PM stated that “this day is a special day for both Eritreans and Ethiopians where the black curtain between the two countries is torn apart.”
“We want to have and build peace with all our neighbors, especially with Eritrea,” the PM further added.
The premier also noted that Ethiopia and Eritrea share lots of commonalities that range from culture and language to politics and economy.
Eritrean Foreign Minster on his part stated that the two countries have so many commonalities, manifesting in economic, political, cultural and social activities.
“Due to different reasons, we have wasted the past 27 years. However, we have to work together to compensate the lost opportunities,” Osman said during the state dinner.
On its second day visit, the Eritrean delegation also visited the Hawassa industrial park and other development projects in Hawassa, 275 km from the capital, Addis Ababa.
In a related news, it was reported that the leaders of the two countries are expected to meet face to face soon.
It is to be recalled that earlier this month, PM Abiy had extended an olive branch to his country’s longtime enemy by stating that Ethiopia is ready to fully accept and implement the terms of the Algiers agreement. Last week, Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki acknowledged his Ethiopian counterpart’s peace offer.