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THE UNITED NATIONS, September 22, 2018 (News Wires) - The UN Security Council has highly valued the patronage of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for the comprehensive peace, friendship and cooperation agreement signed by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, on September 16 in Jeddah, and the meeting of President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh with his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki.

In a statement, the members of the UN Security Council said that “these developments represent a historic milestone and have far-reaching positive implications for the Horn of Africa and beyond” according to Saudi Press Agency, SPA.

UN Security Council’s members called on to continue these efforts and open a new chapter of cooperation that will ensure greater peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.

In a press conference a few days before the opening of the high-level deliberations of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the successful Saudi mediation between Ethiopia and Eritrea and praised the two countries’ vision of opening a new chapter in their relations and thanked Riyadh for facilitating the agreement.

Guterres further said: “We have repeatedly condemned the use of ballistic missiles against civilian targets in Saudi Arabia by the Houthis,” adding that “our position is very clear.”

DUBAI, Sept 16, 2018 (News Wires) - Leaders from Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a "peace agreement" on Sunday during a summit in Saudi Arabia, yet another sign of warming ties between two nations that have face decades of war and unease.

Terms of the agreement signed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki weren't immediately clear.

 Saudi authorities did not respond to specific questions about the accord, which earlier had been described as being a further endorsement of a historic deal reached between the two nations in July.

"The peace deal resulted in restoration of normal relations between the countries, on the basis of the close bonds of geography, history and culture between the two nations and their peoples," Saudi Arabia said in a statement Sunday, calling the accord the "Jiddah Agreement."

"The kingdom of Saudi Arabia praised the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea for exercising leadership and courage to restore the brotherly relations between the two countries, thus forming the foundation for a new phase that will bring significant developments in the relations between the two nations in all fields," the statement added.

Saudi King Salman and his 33-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were on hand for the summit in the Red Sea port city of Jiddah.

Also attending was Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders also were awarded for their efforts the Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal, the kingdom's highest civilian honor.

Abiy and Isaias signed a "Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship" on July 9, ending 20 years of enmity and formally restoring diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

CAIRO, Sept 15, 2018 (MENA) – Senior MP Moustafa El Gendy said that Egypt is keen on supporting Eritrea to regain its effective role at the African and International levels, amid latest developments in the Horn of Africa.

In this regard, Gendy asserted Friday that Egypt is concerned in preserving stability, security and peace in this region. He cited recently-held talks between Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara, where they discussed a number of issues of common concern and ways of strengthening bilateral relations in various areas.

Afwerki comments with Shoukry are a strong evidence of Eritrea's keenness to bolster the historic ties with Egypt in the different domains and its willingness to make good use of available opportunities to cement joint cooperation, the lawmaker stressed.

Gendy shed light also on the pivotal role played by Cairo in the African continent under President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

He praised the Eritrean leader’s emphasis on the main role played by Cairo in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, as well as its great efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region.

 

 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Sept 11, 2018 (News Wires) - Taking the next step in their dramatic diplomatic thaw, the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea on Tuesday officially opened the border where a bloody war divided them for decades, with emotional residents embracing after years of separation. Ethiopia later announced that troops on both sides would withdraw.

Ethiopia's reformist new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and longtime Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki "marked the radical transformation of the Ethio-Eritrea border into a frontier of peace & friendship," Abiy's chief of staff Fitsum Arega said in a Twitter post.

The leaders visited the Bure Front with members of their militaries to mark the Ethiopian new year and later did the same at the Serha-Zalambesa crossing, Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Meskel said on Twitter.

Photos showed Abiy in camouflage walking alongside Isaias in olive drab, while a ribbon stretched across one border post bristled with military personnel carrying not guns but cameras. Hundreds of civilians waved the countries' flags. People of the countries' Tigray region, who share close cultural ties, danced while flag-draped camels wandered by.

In comments carried hours later by the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate, Abiy announced that "to ease the tense atmosphere that existed in border areas, Ethiopian Defense Forces will return to various camps to recover and obtain additional training. The same will be done on the Eritrean side. Until then, soldiers will assist local farmers and shift to development activities."

NAIROBI, September 11, 2018 (News Wires) - The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea visited their shared border to celebrate Ethiopian new year together on Tuesday - marking the countries' reconciliation on a frontier where their soldiers faced off against each other just months earlier.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki visited their troops stationed at Bure, a region that saw some of the fiercest fighting during their 1998-2000 war.

Tensions over the border burned on after the fighting ended - until Abiy offered to end the military standoff this year as part of a package of reforms that has reshaped the political landscape in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

"PM Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki are visiting Bure Front along Ethio-Eritrea border to celebrate the New Year with members of the Ethiopian & Eritrean Defence Forces following the full normalisation of the relations between the two countries. #Ethiopia #Eritrea," Fitsum Arega, Abiy's Chief of Staff, said on Twitter.

Pictures on Fitsum's Twitter account showed Abiy and Isaias walking side by side.

Since signing an agreement in Asmara on July 9 to restore ties, the Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders have moved swiftly to end the two decades of hostility.

Eritrea reopened its embassy in Ethiopia in July, and Ethiopia reciprocated last week.

The two countries have resumed flights. Eritrea has agreed to open up its ports to its landlocked neighbour and last week announced plans to upgrade a road between them.

Residents on another part of the border said Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers started clearing landmines on Monday.

Ethiopia follows a calendar similar to the ancient Julian calendar — which started disappearing from the West in the 16th century — meaning the country will enter its year 2011 on September 11.

Unlike the Gregorian calendar used officially in Eritrea and the West, Ethiopia's version squeezes 13 months into every year — 12 months comprising 30 days each and a final month made up of just five or six days depending on whether it is a leap year.

Time is also measured differently in the Horn of Africa country. Days start at dawn rather than midnight.

ADDIS ABABA, September 6, 2018 (News Wires) - Ethiopia reopened its embassy in the Eritrean capital on Thursday, state media reported, the latest step in restoring ties after the two nations ended decades of conflict.

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signed a peace pact in July, ending the hostilities that began with a two-year border war in 1998 and degenerated into 18 years of stalemated relations.

Abiy had arrived in Eritrea on Wednesday for his second visit since taking office, inspecting the Red Sea nation's two main ports before travelling to the capital Asmara.

"Ethiopia's Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki reopened the embassy in a brief ceremony," Ethiopia's state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported on Thursday.

Abiy, Isaias and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who joined the leaders in Asmara, had on Wednesday signed an agreement to "build close political, economic, social, cultural and security ties", according to Eritrea's information ministry.

Also on Wednesday, an Ethiopian cargo ship arrived in Eritrea's Massawa port to transport zinc to China, marking the formal reopening of Eritrean ports to Ethiopian trade.

Eritrea was once a province of its larger southern neighbour and comprised its entire coastline.

After a bloody, decades-long independence struggle, Eritrea voted in 1993 to separate, rendering Ethiopia landlocked.

The two countries then went to war from 1998 to 2000 after a border dispute turned violent.

A 2002 UN-backed boundary demarcation was meant to settle the dispute for good, but Ethiopia refused to abide by it and held on to disputed territory meant to be under Eritrean control.

Elevated to the premiership in April, Abiy announced in June that Ethiopia would hand back the disputed areas including the flashpoint town of Badme where the first shots of the border war were fired.

During his visit this week, Abiy also inspected the road leading from Assab, the other major Eritrean port, to the Ethiopian border, his chief of staff Fitsum Arega tweeted.

However it remains unclear when the heavily militarised Ethiopia-Eritrea border will formally open or when Ethiopian forces will withdraw from the disputed areas.

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