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Eritrea, Ethiopia to expedite diplomatic relations amid rapprochement of ties

Eritrea, Ethiopia to expedite diplomatic relations amid rapprochement of ties

By Xinhua

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki have agreed to deepen the recent positive developments across the Horn of Africa region.

The agreement came following two leaders' meeting in Eritrea's capital Asmara as part of Ethiopia's high-level delegation's meeting with Eritrean officials to discuss recent positive bilateral and regional developments, the two countries' officials revealed late Friday.

According to the Ethiopian Prime Minister's Office, the two-day high-level visit by the Ethiopian delegation, which also includes Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde Gebremariam and Ethiopian Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide, mainly envisaged on "deepening bilateral cooperation and regional issues of mutual interest."

Eritrea's Minister of Information Yemane Gebremeskel also said that Afwerki and Ahmed held "extensive talks on further deepening the ongoing vibrant peace process and all-rounded cooperation" between the two countries on the basis of previous agreements.

"The two leaders discussed regional developments and agreed to take requisite measures to further enhance peace process and bilateral ties of cooperation," Gebremeskel said in a statement on Friday.

"The two leaders further agreed to broaden the positive ramifications of the peace process and robust cooperation underway to the Horn of Africa," Gebremeskel added.

Ahmed and his Ethiopian delegation, accompanied by Afwerki, also visited "several development projects and construction work on the Nefasit-Decamhare highway," it was noted.

The rapid diplomatic thaw between the two former arch-rivals had seen various positive developments as the two Horn of African countries restore air links, telephone lines, trade routes and re-opened their respective diplomatic missions.

The recent positive developments between Ethiopia and Eritrea ended two decades of bitter armed standoff, which followed a bloody two-year border war in 1998-2000.

Leaders of the two countries, in another bid to augment their growing ties, had also previously agreed to increase the movement and amount of bilateral trade through Eritrea's port city of Assab to Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

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