Africa's largest trading bloc welcomes end to Ethiopia-Eritrea hostilities

Elias Hubbard
July 20, 2018

The Associate Professor pointed out that the flight resumption is essential in attracting Eritrean investors to benefit from Ethiopia's wider investment opportunities and a comparatively big market whilst encouraging their Ethiopian counterparts to do business in Eritrea. "Welcome home President Isaias!" the Ethiopian prime minister's chief of staff said on Twitter.

Thousands turned out in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, under tight security to welcome Isaias, whose three-day visit is the latest step in ending a long state of war.

Ethiopian Airlines has resumed operations to Eritrea.

He said at the time: "We agreed that the airlines will start operating, ports will be accessible, people can move between the two countries and the embassies will re-open". He was also handed a horse and a camel as gifts - national symbols in the two countries.

"The tragedy of Eritrea has brought much distress to us all", he said.

Ethiopian Airlines announced that Asmara becomes its 114th destinations and the inaugural flight to the Eritrean capital is scheduled for today with the ultra-modern Boeing B-787 Dreamliner aircraft. "I can't explain my feelings", said Fasika Moges, who lived in Addis and met her sister Lula at the airport.

Abiy's predecessor, former prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn, told Reuters on board one of Wednesday's flights that he felt "heartfelt joy".

Prime Minister Ahmed also paid a visit to Eritrea where series of agreements were made to restore diplomatic ties.

The rapprochement is expected to provide an economic boost to both nations, offering booming Ethiopia - which now channels its trade through Djiboutian ports - access to Eritrea's coast.

Getachew, 41, added: "Till this day, no one has a clear idea the goal of the war, except we know that many thousands of people have died".

Eritrea, one of the world's most reclusive nations, has been ruled by President Isaias Afwerki since it gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993.

Stating the complementarity of the two countries tourism opportunities, the Associate Professor stated that the flight resumption is key in enabling Ethiopia and Eritrea to build their competences and knowledge to offer attractive packages for global tourists. Afwerki reciprocated with a state visit to Ethiopia just days later.

Eritrean women hold up the flag of Eritrea on July 18, 2018, to welcome passengers of the flight from Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, upon their arrival.

Amnesty International has said the new-found peace should be a catalyst for change in Eritrea, one of the world's most isolated nations.

The global community, including the United States, has praised the end of hostilities.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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