Lusaka, Monday, July 16, 2018: COMESA Council of Ministers has celebrated the peace reached between Ethiopia and Eritrea that has ended a 20-year hostility between the two states. In a standing ovation, the Ministers meeting in Lusaka, 14 -15 July 2018, congratulated the leaders of the two states for demonstrating that the African continent can resolve its own problems without external interference or prodding.
The ministers meeting coincided with a return visit by the President of Eritrea His Excellency Isaias Afwerki to Ethiopia. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia His Excellency Abiy Ahmed made the first visit to Eritrea on 8th July 2018 and agreed to end the civil war that has killed many people from both sides.
On both occasions, the two leaders have warmly embraced publicly as a sign of the new friendship while declaring that all misunderstandings had been resolved and the war was over. As part of the declaration, Ethiopia and Eritrea agreed to restore the diplomatic, trade and transportation links that were severed during the border war they fought between 1998 and 2000. They are also reopening embassies, flight routes and telephone lines across the border have been reopened.
Eritrea also agreed to give Ethiopia access to its ports on the red sea while Ethiopia indicated that it would respect a 2002 boundary ruling that awarded some territory to Eritrea.
The Council of Ministers meeting in Lusaka was chaired by the Minister of Trade from Madagascar Honourable Mrs. Yvette Sylla described as long overdue and would greatly help further deepen regional integration in the COMESA region. Eritrea and Ethiopia are both members of COMESA.