U.S. welcomes Ethiopia-Eritrea peace moves: State Dept
The United States is encouraged by recent progress Ethiopia and Eritrea have made toward resolving their longstanding differences, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.
The two African countries waged a border war from 1998-2000 that killed tens of thousands of people. Disputes over the still-militarized frontier, in particular the town of Badme, have kept the two sides at loggerheads.
On Wednesday, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki raised hopes of a breakthrough in the conflict by describing recent peace overtures from Ethiopia as “positive signals.”
He was responding to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s pledge earlier this month to honor all the terms of a 2000 peace deal, which would include ceding Badme to Eritrea.
Isaias said he was sending a delegation to Addis Ababa to understand Abiy’s position and “chart out a plan.”
Isaias and Abiy “have demonstrated courageous leadership by taking these steps toward peace,” the State Department said in a statement.
“The United States looks forward to a full normalization of relations and the realization of our shared aspirations for both countries to enjoy enduring peace and development,” it said.
Statement by the Press Secretary on Progress Toward Peace Between Ethiopia and Eritrea
By White House
The United States is encouraged by the progress that Ethiopia and Eritrea have made to resolve longstanding disputes and normalize relations. Over the past 20 years, the frozen conflict between these states has hindered stability and economic growth in the vital Red Sea region. A durable peace will yield greater prosperity and security not only for the citizens of Ethiopia and Eritrea, but also for their neighbors, the United States, and the world.
The United States commends Ethiopia’s statement on June 5, 2018 announcing that Ethiopia fully accepts the 2000 Algiers Agreement, issued in the context of positive political and economic reforms. The United States also welcomes Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki’s June 20, 2018 commitment to send a delegation to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to advance the peace process. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki have demonstrated courageous leadership by taking these steps toward peace.
Ethiopia and Eritrea have a critical role in promoting stability and prosperity in the Horn of Africa. The United States looks forward to a full normalization of relations and the realization of our shared aspirations for both countries to enjoy enduring peace and development. As a witness to the Algiers Agreement, the United States stands ready to facilitate progress toward this goal.