Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh says the June 8 peace deal between the two countries was one that was agreed by the respective governments without any intermediaries.
Saleh was speaking in Italy during the second Italy-Africa Forum held in Rome between 24 – 25 October. Also in attendance was his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Ghebeyehu.
“Many think that the peace was preceded by protracted behind-the-scene negotiations,that was not the case.
The first time that the two sides met and talked was when the Eritrean delegation landed in Addis Ababa, And it was not just a physical encounter. It was a meeting of minds.
“Eritrea and Ethiopia have not just made peace. They have embarked on a partnership of complementarity and synergy, determined to make up for the lost time and opportunities.
They are prioritizing joint interests, and investing in joint programs and projects.
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They have opened their common borders for the free movement of people and goods,” Saleh stressed whiles admitting that earlier mediation overtures had failed to materialize.
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Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.
Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.
“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”
It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”
The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
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