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Eritrea Responds to Ethiopia Peace Overtures

The Washington Post
Published: 6/20/2018 11:56:23 PM
Modified: 6/20/2018 11:56:33 PM

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — Two weeks after Ethiopia made the surprise announcement it was ready to accept a nearly 20-year-old peace deal with Eritrea, the reclusive country’s leader said on Wednesday it would send a delegation to discuss the matter to Addis Ababa.

In a nationally televised speech marking the secretive country’s Martyrs’ Day, President Isaias Afwerki said both peoples yearned for peace, which was now more possible in light of the changes in Ethiopia.

“We will send a delegation to Addis Ababa to gauge current developments directly and in depth as well as to chart out a plan for continuous future action,” he said, according to an official translation of the speech.

“The Eritrean people, but also the Ethiopian people, have lost an opportunity of two generations for over half a century,” he added.

The move brings a glimmer of hope to solve one of the bloodiest and most intractable conflicts in the Horn of Africa between two countries closely bound by ties of language, religion and ethnicity.

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