ASMARA, 10 JULY 2018 – Ethiopia and Eritrea will re-establish trade ties and diplomatic relations, including opening embassies in each other’s capitals.

The announcement was made Sunday at a landmark meeting held in Asmara, capital of Eritrea. It came during a historic visit to Asmara by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during which he met with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.

Ethiopian PM and Eritrean President sign historic peace deal [Photo courtesy Eritrean Ministry of Information]

The meeting was the first held between the two leaders in almost 20 years.

Under the deal, access to Eritrea’s Red Sea ports will be granted to landlocked Ethiopia.

Relations were severed following border disputes in the late 1990s. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in border clashes.

Direct international telephone connection was also restored on Sunday between the two countries for the first time in two decades.

The two countries went to war with each other and broke off diplomatic relations in 1998. The rapprochement between the two rivals has been very swift.

[Abiy Ahmed & Isaias Afwerki signing deal in Asmara; Crowds welcome Abiy Ahmed in streets of Asmara bearing flags of both countries for the first time since 1998 – pictures from the official website of the Eritrean Ministry of Information]

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