Date: Monday, 09 July 2018
ADDIS ABABA, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia and Eritrea have agreed to resume air services and for landlocked Ethiopia to use Eritrean ports for its growing foreign trade, Ethiopian Prime Minister AbiyAhmed said on Sunday.
Ahmed made the statement hours after he landed in Eritrea. In a live statement from the Eritrean Presidential Palace in Asmara broadcast by state media in Eritrea and Ethiopia, Ahmed said the air services and port usage agreement aim to create a people-to-people ties between the two countries.
Ahmed also said he has agreed with his Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to reopen each other'sdiplomatic missions in their respective countries.
In June Ethiopia received a high-level Eritrean delegation led by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Salah, the first high level Eritrean delegation to visit Ethiopia in 20 years.
The Eritrean delegation came to Ethiopia after Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki declared that his country would send a team to Ethiopia to assess a recent Ethiopia peace offer.
On June 5, the Executive Committee of the ruling party, the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) passed decision
expressing Ethiopia's commitment to an unconditional implementation of Algiers peace agreement with Eritrea.
The peace agreement ended the two-year border war, but a tense armed standoff continued, with the two countries engaging in skirmishes occasionally.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) hailed on Sunday the historic meeting of Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders after 20 years of hostility.
In a press statement, IGAD Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim said the normalization of bilateral ties would benefit the peoples of the two countries and would contribute to the realization of the shared aspiration of peace and integration in the East African region and the African continent.
Ethiopia and Eritrea are members of the eight-country trade bloc whose mission is to economically integrate the East African region.