ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean
President Isaias Afwerki re-opened the two countries’ common
border on Tuesday, more than 20 years after it was shut with the
outbreak of bloody war between the two nations.
In a joint ceremony,
Ahmed and Afwerki opened the key Bure-Debay-Sima border crossing
and are expected later Tuesday to witness the re-opening of
Zalambessa border crossing, Yemane Gebremeskel, Eritrean
Minister of Information said in a twitter post.
Ethiopia and Eritrea
fought a bloody two year border war from 1998-2000, leaving an
estimated 70,000 people dead from both sides, before a December
2000 Algiers peace agreement ended the war. However, the two
countries had remained in a state of armed standoff until
On June 5, the
executive committee of the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s
Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), passed a decision
expressing commitment to an unconditional implementation of
Algiers peace agreement with Eritrea.
Eritrea gave a
positive response to Ethiopia’s peace gesture two weeks later,
and ever since then a series of rapid diplomatic moves has seen
Ahmed and Afwerki visit their respective countries in July,
formally ending two decades of mutual animosity.
The rapid diplomatic
thaw between the two countries has also seen Ethiopia and
Eritrea restore air links, telephone lines, trade routes and
re-open their respective diplomatic missions.
better road connection with Eritrea as relations improve
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
The Ethiopian Roads Authority on Sunday
revealed its plan to renovate the disused roadway that connects
Ethiopia with its long-time foe Eritrea and reopen the
long-abandoned lane to travelers.
came amid recent positive developments that are considered a new
beginning in bilateral ties. The two countries fought a bloody
border war in 1998-2000, which killed an estimated 70,000 people
from both sides.
The war ended
following a December 2000 Algiers peace agreement, but had left
the two countries in a state of bitter armed standoff.
Minister Abiy Ahmed, who on Wednesday paid Eritrea his second
visit since he assumed office in April, promised to further
improve ties between the two neighboring countries that were
once a single nation. Eritrea declared independence from
Ethiopia in 1991.
by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, visited Eritrean ports as
land-locked Ethiopia eyes Eritrea’s Assab and Metswa ports for
its import-export needs, in which conducive road connectivity
was said to be vital.
constructed road networks connecting the two countries need
renovation, having been kept vacant for more than two decades
following the armed standoff.
According to the
head of the Ethiopian Roads Authority, Habtamu Tilahun, efforts
are underway to build roads to leverage Ethiopia’s ambitions to
utilize Eritrea’s ports.
“In addition to the
planned new projects, we are working to finalize the renovation
activity within the coming three months period and embark on
service provision,” Tilahun was quoted by Ethiopia’s state news
agency as saying on Sunday.
Ethiopia on Thursday
reopened its embassy in the Eritrean capital, Asmara; Eritrea’s
embassy in Addis Ababa was reopened on July 16.
between Ethiopia and Eritrea have also resumed, and the two
countries’ flag carriers—Ethiopian Airlines and Eritrean
Airlines—have also started flights to Asmara and Addis Ababa
A decision to
construct a pipeline linking Addis Ababa and Eritrea’s Assab
port has been also unveiled by Ethiopia and the United Arab
The pipeline would
allow landlocked Ethiopia to export crude oil via the Eritrean
port. Ethiopia started test extraction from its Somali Regional
State in June.
Ethiopia’s Ahmed, Eritrea’s Afwerki and Somali President Mohamed
Abdullahi Mohamed signed an agreement strengthening trilateral
In addition to
political and economic relations, Ethiopia and Eritrea are also
taking steps to strengthen cultural and people-to-people links.
A cultural symposium
last month in Addis Ababa brought together 500 participants from
Ethiopians will welcome 'New Year' with calls for National