United States encouraged Ethiopia-Eritrea peace moves: State Department

Vastavam web: The United States is encouraged by recent progress Ethiopia and Eritrea have made towards resolving their longstanding differences, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday. The two African countries waged a border war from 1998-2000 that killed tens of thousands of people. Disputes over the still-militarised frontier, in particular the town of Badme, have kept the two sides at loggerheads. On Wednesday, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki raised hopes of a breakthrough in the conflict by describing recent peace overtures from Ethiopia as “positive signals.”

He was responding to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s pledge earlier this month to honour all the terms of a 2000 peace deal, which would include ceding Badme to Eritrea. Isaias and Abiy “have demonstrated courageous leadership by taking these steps towards peace,” the State Department said in a statement. “The United States looks forward to a full normalization of relations and the realization of our shared aspirations for both countries to enjoy enduring peace and development,” it said.