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Eritrea

From the edge of war to the bridge of love

Abiy Ahmed shares a joke with Issayas Afewerki. Asmara, 8 July 2018

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has topped off weeks of revolutionary change by triumphantly making peace with Eritrea

The Ethiopian leader's previously inconceivable trip to Asmara on a mission of reconciliation on 8 July has reshaped regional geopolitics and crowned Abiy Ahmed's premiership with a hugely popular prize – peace with Eritrea and normalisation of relations. Nearly two decades of tense stand-off melted away when Abiy flew in to Asmara to a tumultuous welcome and a warm embrace from Eritrea's gruff dictator, Issayas Afewerki. They signed a joint declaration of peace and promised to implement the Algiers peace agreement signed in 2000. That deal ended a blood-drenched border war but never lifted the spectre of another outbreak of fighting and failed to restore normal relations between the former allies.

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