Eritrea leader visits Ethiopia on Saturday in historic thaw

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Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 11:30 GMT

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and walk together at Asmara International Airport, Eritrea July 9, 2018 in this photo obtained from social media on July 10, 2018. GHIDEON MUSA ARON VISAFRIC/via REUTERS

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and walk together at Asmara International Airport, Eritrea July 9, 2018 in this photo obtained from social media on July 10, 2018. GHIDEON MUSA ARON VISAFRIC/via REUTERS

ASMARA - 13 July 2018: Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki is visiting Ethiopia on Saturday, the latest step in an unprecedented diplomatic thaw between the former archrivals that is ending one of Africa's longest-running conflicts, ABC News reported Friday.

Eritrea's Information Minister, Yemane Gebremeskel, confirmed the reports on Twitter, saying that the visit will "add momentum to the joint march for peace and cooperation." The 72-year-old Isaias last visited Ethiopia in 1996.

The visit comes after Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a historic trip to Eritrea last weekend for hugs, laughter and talks with Isaias, setting off the restoration of diplomatic ties after two decades.

The thaw began when the 42-year-old Abiy, who took office in April, announced Ethiopia would fully accept a peace deal that ended a border war that killed tens of thousands and separated families.

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