The time is now. Eritrea delegation composed of senior military officers and government officials have arrived in Addis Ababa for peace talks with the Ethiopians to end decades-long disputes.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the delegation at Bole International Airport.
This is the first time in more than two decades that a top-level delegation from Asmara visits Ethiopia.
According to the Prime minister’s office Chief of Staff, Fitsum Arega; “This marks the 1st high level contact nearly two decades of stalemate. HE PM Abiy will host the delegation and hopes the visit will lay the foundation for a much brighter future for.”
“We are fully committed to reconcile with our Eritrean brothers and sisters and extend an invitation to the Eritrean government to start dialogue and establish rapport,” Abiy told parliament earlier this month.
Prime Minister Abiy also once fought in Badme. “The suffering on both sides is unspeakable because the peace process is deadlocked. This must change for the sake of our common good,” Abiy’s chief of staff, Fitsum Arega, said at the time.
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki recently said he would dispatch a delegation to Addis Ababa to “gauge current development” in the region.
Eritrea is one of the world’s most closed-off nations and has been ruled by Afwerki since gaining independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after years of rebel warfare.
The spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, Stephane Dujarric, told journalists that “obviously we’ll see what happens but we clearly welcome this development.”
He said the world body stands ready to play a role in assisting the two parties.