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Ethiopia, Eritrea to establish national committees on restoring ties

Monday July 9, 2018

Former bitter rivals Ethiopia and Eritrea are to establish national committees in economic, political, security and military fields, Ethiopia's foreign minister said on Monday.

Speaking to media in Addis Ababa shortly after his return from Eritrean capital Asmara, Workneh Gebeyehu said the economic, diplomatic, political and human relations, which have been cut for 20 years, will be restored soon.

A delegation led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Eritrea on Monday morning signed a peace declaration with their Eritrean counterparts to end mutual hostilities, settle border disputes and resume economic, political and diplomatic ties.

"The national committees ... will work out the exact time and date of the implementation plan ... We've already established two commissions headed by the respective foreign ministers of both countries," said Gebeyehu.

"We're going to have sub-committees that will work out in detail when and how each and every issue will be implemented," he further said.

The minister also said as soon as next week, flights between Eritrean capital Asmara and Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa will resume as well as Eritrean ports servicing landlocked Ethiopia's rising economic needs.

"With this peace declaration the two countries' hostilities have been resolved. Our people's efforts have made it possible for the conflict to be stopped peacefully, with flights between the two capitals expected to start later this month it will enable peoples from both countries to meet with each other after 20 years of separation," said Gebeyehu.

He further said there will be a technical committee to resolve the two countries' bitter border dispute and help implement the Algiers peace agreement signed in 2000.

On June 5, the executive committee of the ruling party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) passed a decision expressing commitment to an unconditional implementation of Algiers peace agreement with Eritrea.

The peace agreement ended a two-year border war from 1998-2000 that killed an estimated 70,000 people from both sides, but a tense armed standoff continued, with the two countries engaging in skirmishes occasionally.


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