U.S. impressed by Ethiopia-Eritrea peace developments

The United States has expressed satisfaction with the recent progress Ethiopia and Eritrea have made in resolving longstanding differences.

The two countries engaged in a border war from 1998-2000, killing tens of thousands of people and forcing millions others to flee their homes.

Disputes over the still-militarized frontier, particularly the town of Badme, have kept the two sides at loggerheads for years.

On Wednesday, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki raised hopes of a breakthrough in the conflict by describing recent peace overtures from Ethiopia as “positive signals.”

He was responding to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s pledge earlier this month to honour all the terms of a 2000 peace deal, which would include ceding Badme to Eritrea.

Isaias said he was sending a delegation to Addis Ababa to understand Abiy’s position and “chart out a plan.”

Isaias and Abiy “have demonstrated courageous leadership by taking these steps toward peace,” the White House said in a statement.

“The United States looks forward to a full normalization of relations and the realization of our shared aspirations for both countries to enjoy enduring peace and development,” it said.