ADDIS ABABA, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki will pay a visit to Ethiopia's flagship Hawassa Industrial Park in the weekend, an Ethiopian official said on Friday.
Afwerki is expected to start a historic three-day state visit to Ethiopia on Saturday, the first time the veteran Eritrean leader will visit Ethiopia in 20 years.
The two countries started tentative steps towards reconciliation in June, two decades after a bloody border war in 1998-2000 killed an estimated 70,000 people from both sides and cut the countries' diplomatic and economic relations.
Speaking to media, Ahmed Shide, Minister of Ethiopia Government Communications Affairs Office (GCAO), said Afwerki is scheduled to visit the Chinese-built industrial park which has been lauded for its positive contribution to Ethiopia's industrialization ambitions.
Shide also said the Eritrean president is scheduled on Sunday to re-open the Eritrean Embassy in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa that was closed in the aftermath of the war.
Hawassa Industrial Park, which the Ethiopian government considers as a model for the construction of other industrial zones across the country, has proved successful immediately after its inauguration in July 2016, mainly by attracting various world-class textile and apparel companies to the country.
The industrial park, located in Ethiopia's southern city of Hawassa, was built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
The Ethiopian government has previously disclosed its plan to generate close to 1 billion U.S. dollars in annual revenue from the park once it starts operations at its full potential.
Afwerki's visit to Ethiopia comes less than a week after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed became the first Ethiopia leader to visit the Red Sea nation in 20 years.
Ahmed who paid a two-day state visit to Eritrea signed a peace declaration with Afwerki outlining steps to restore diplomatic and economic ties, as well as end their 2-decade-old border dispute.