Ethiopian, Eritrean leaders celebrate end to mutual hostilities

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-16 03:19:34|Editor: mym
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ADDIS ABABA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia embraced each other on Sunday at a concert held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to celebrate an end to two decades of mutual hostilities.

An emotional Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the two countries' mutual animosity has been overcome by a motto of peace and love.

Echoing Ahmed's comment, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki said he's very glad after two decades to be present at a moment of peace and love between the two nations.

"By learning from our shared history and culture, we're ready to defeat the conspiracy to create hate, revenge and destruction between us, as we work together forward to achieve mutual development and prosperity," said an animated Afwerki.

The concert came at the end of fast-moving developments between the two countries that have seen the bitter rivals that fought a bloody border war from 1998 to 2000, which left 70,000 dead from both sides, turn into potential close allies. The war was ended by a December 2000 Algiers peace agreement, but it left the two countries in a state of bitter armed standoff.

Ethiopian prime minister Ahmed visited Eritrea's capital, Asmara, last weekend, welcomed by Afwerki, as thousands of Eritreans lining the streets to greet him.

The exchange of visits by Afwerki and Ahmed came after the Executive Committee of the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) decided on June 5 to fully accept the Algiers peace agreement.

Afwerki, who arrived in Ethiopia on Saturday for a three-day state visit, has already visited Ethiopia's flagship Hawassa Industrial Park. He is expected to re-open the Eritrean embassy in Ethiopia on Monday, which has been shut for nearly two decades.