Ethiopia, Eritrea start historic phase in bilateral relations

Ethiopia and Eritrea declared the start of a new era in bilateral relations after 20 years of suspension in a historic move expected to create more peaceful and secure atmosphere in the region.

Re-starting the diplomatic relations between the two African countries came after the visit of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to Ethiopia, the first in 20 years, last week where he re-opened his country’s embassy in Addis Ababa.

Afwerki’s visit came in response to a visit by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who leads a party aiming at making significant changes and reformation to his country’s interior and foreign policies, said expert in Horn of Africa’s affairs Abdulmineim Abu Edress.

“Economic advantages like low cost ports rentals, low transit and services fees, cheap electricity from Ethiopia, all encourages Eritrea’s reconciliation with its neighboring Ethiopia”, Abu Edress added.

During the period of suspended relations, Eritrea relied on the ports of neighboring countries such as Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan, which created an economic and political burden on the state.

On his part, political analyst Anwar Ibrahim said that historic reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea came as a result of many international and regional political attempts, chiefly Abiy’s arrival to power.

He added that the competition between the two countries will create a state of stability and reduce the illegal migration that starts from this region, it will radically reshape the Horn of Africa.

As for the latest updates in the region and their impact in Somalia, Abdulmineim Abu Edress said the war led by Eritrea and Ethiopia on Somali soil will stop now, creating a more peaceful and secure atmosphere in the country.

Historically, Eritrea formed the coastal part of Ethiopia at its two ports (Assab and Mossawa) before it declared its independence in 1993 following the expulsion of Ethiopian troops from its territory in 1991.

A dispute over demarcation led to a 1998-2000 war that killed 80,000 people before the conflict turned into a cold war after diplomatic ties broke out.

Source: Kuwait News Agency