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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.

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.

CAIRO, Sept 10, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will head on Tuesday to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to participate in the ministerial meetings on reforming the African Union Commission slated for September 12-13, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.

The get-together targets probing means of reforming the AU Commission and carrying out administrative and financial revision to the work of the commission in 2016/2017, the spokesman reiterated.

KHARTOUM, September 8, 2018 (News Wires) - South Sudanese arch-foes President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar are set to formally sign a peace deal at a summit of regional leaders in Ethiopia next week, a top mediator said Saturday.

The rivals have already approved a deal that was negotiated during weeks of talks hosted in Khartoum between South Sudan's warring factions.

Kiir and Machar are now expected to ink the final accord at a summit in Addis Ababa on September 12, Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed told Sudan's official news agency SUNA.

"After intense discussions between IGAD leaders in Beijing, it has been decided that an IGAD summit will be held on September 12 in Addis Ababa," Ahmed said, referring to the East African bloc that has pushed the latest initiative to end the war in South Sudan.

"Among other issues, the summit will approve the South Sudan peace agreement, which has already been initialled in Khartoum."

Machar and Kiir have already signed several other agreements, including a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing deal that sees Machar returning as first vice president.

A succession of peace deals have been signed between the two leaders previously, only to be broken thereafter.

South Sudan, the world's youngest country, spiralled into a devastating civil war a little more than two years after it became independent from Sudan in 2011.

The conflict pitted Kiir against Machar after the president accused his one-time deputy of plotting a coup.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people and uprooted roughly a third of the country's population.

The violence has included the widespread rape and murder of civilians, often along ethnic lines.

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