Ethiopia PM says Eritrea peace deal to be accelerated to ‘make up for lost opportunities’
Ethiopia’s prime minister said on Tuesday his government wanted to implement a deal restoring relations with former foe Eritrea quickly, to “make up for lost opportunities” after a two-decade military standoff.
Abiy Ahmed signed an agreement with Eritrean President Isaias Afkwerki on Monday, formally declaring the “state of war” between the neighbouring states was over.
“My government is keen to implement the terms we laid out in our Joint Declaration so as to quickly make up for lost opportunities and create even better ones for our people”, Abiy said in a letter to Isaias that was posted on Twitter by Abiy’s chief of staff.
My government is keen to implement the terms we laid out in our Joint Declaration so as to quickly make up for lost opportunities and create even better ones for our people
Here is a full text of HE Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed’s “thank you” letter to HE President Isaias Afwerki following the successful and historic visit to Asmara. #Ethiopia #Eritrea pic.twitter.com/sNbAEFrbXD
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) July 10, 2018
‘‘We can now confidently say that we have effectively closed a bitter and destructive chapter in our two nations’ history that lasted way too long,’‘ Abiy added.
The historic reconciliation could transform politics and security in the volatile Horn region, which hundreds of thousands of young people have fled in recent years in search of safety and opportunities in Europe.
On Monday, the leaders of both countries announced they were ending the costly “state of war” that has reigned since fighting stopped in 2000. Diplomatic relations were never restored because the sides could not agree how to implement a peace deal.
After meeting and embracing in Asmara on Sunday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki told their peoples they were choosing love and forgiveness over hatred and violence.