Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki will visit Ethiopia on Saturday, Eritrea’s information minister, Yemane Meskel, said on Friday, days after the two neighbours 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.
“The visit will cement further/add momentum to the joint march for peace and cooperation set in motion by both leaders.”
Under this week’s historic agreement, the Horn of Africa neighbours 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.
“E President Isaias Afeworki will arrive in #Ethiopia tomorrow for a 3 days state visit upon invitation of HE PM Dr Abiy,” Abiy’s chief of staff, Fitsum Arega, tweeted. “The visit will strengthen the friendship & ties b/n #Ethiopia & #Eritrea. We thank HE President Isaias for honoring us with a visit & we welcome him warmly!”
Normalising relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea is expected transform the Horn of Africa region, ending decades of animosity during which both countries remained isolated and dominated by their security forces.