Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed has thanked his Eritrean counterpart, President Isaias Afwerki for his positive response to a peace and reconciliation overture.
The 41 year old leader also expressed his readiness to welcome the Eritrean delegation to Addis, according to Fitsum Arega, Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister office.
HE PM Dr Abiy Ahmed thanked & congratulated President Isayas Afworki for the positive response to Ethiopia’s #peace and reconciliation overture. He also expressed his readiness to welcome warmly and with considerable goodwill the Eritrean delegation to Addis. #Eritrea #Ethiopia— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) 20 juin 2018
Abiy’s message, which was recorded his message in Tigrigna, one of the languages spoken in Eritrea, will be aired on state television.
Update: In a televised statement aired on Etv, PM #AbiyAhmed directly addressed President Isaias Afewerki in Tigrigna. He also recognized that today was Martyrs Day in Eritrea and that he took the president's decision as a “great news in a great day.” #Ethiopia-#Eritrea pic.twitter.com/CtqhsF6aqM— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) June 20, 2018
Eritrea responds to Ethiopia’s olive branch
President Isaias today announced plans to send a delegation to understand the recent announcement that Abiy’s government would accept the Algiers Agreement that gives the disputed town of Badme to Eritrea.
‘‘For this reason, and outside myopic considerations of public relations stunts and advantages, we will send a delegation to Addis Abeba to gauge current developments directly and in depth as well as to chart out a plan for continuous future action,’‘ Afwerki said.
The announcement was made at the annual martyr’s day celebration in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.
The 1998-2000 war between the Horn of Africa neighbours drew comparisons to the First World War, with waves of soldiers forced to march through minefields towards Eritrean trenches where they were cut down by machine gun fire.
As many as 80,000 are believed to have been killed in total.
Disputes over the still-militarised border, in particular the town of Badme, have kept the two sides at loggerheads, with Asmara using the Ethiopian threat to justify its hefty military spending and long-term conscription.