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Eritrea to send delegation to Ethiopia for talks – diplomat

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki is dispatching a delegation to Addis Ababa for “constructive engagement” with Ethiopia after peace overtures from its new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a senior Eritrean diplomat said.

Eritrean ambassador to Japan Estifanos Afeworki said on Twitter that Isais had made the announcement on Wednesday of the potentially significant breakthrough in one of Africa’s most protracted conflicts. He gave no further details.

Addis Ababa announced on June 5 that it will fully accept the terms of a peace agreement with Asmara in a major step towards calming deadly tensions with its decades-long rival.

The agreement signed in 2000 ended a two-year war.

“The suffering on both sides is unspeakable because the peace process is deadlocked. This must change for the sake of our common good,” Fitsum Arega, the chief of staff for the Ethiopian prime minister’s office, said early this month.

Ethiopia became landlocked in 1993 after Eritrea, which comprised the country’s entire Red Sea coast, voted to leave.

But the neighbours were soon at war over the demarcation of their shared border, a conflict that would leave 80,000 people dead and degenerate into a stalemate.

Hundreds would die in subsequent years in periodic border clashes after Ethiopia’s refusal to accept the ruling of an UN-backed boundary commission that divided up contested territory between the two countries.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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