Ethiopia, Eritrea to sign new peace agreement in Saudi: UN

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Leaders of both countries signed a declaration of peace in July that formally ended a two-decade standoff [File: Reuters]

UN chief Antonio Guterres to be among those attending Sunday’s signing ceremony in western city of Jeddah.

The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea will attend a summit in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to sign a peace agreement “cementing” the relations between the two former Horn of Africa bitter rivals, according to a United Nations spokesperson.

Farhan Haq said on Friday that the signing ceremony will be hosted by Saudi King Salman in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat are also expected to attend.

Haq did not provide further details about the agreement.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki signed a declaration of peace in July that formally ended a two-decade standoff and restored diplomatic relations.

On Tuesday, Ethiopia and Eritrea reopened two land border crossing points for the first time in 20 years, clearing the way for trade between the two nations.

Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in the early 1990s. War broke out later that decade over a border dispute.

A 2002 UN-backed boundary demarcation was meant to settle the dispute for good, but Ethiopia refused to abide by it.

A turnaround began in June when Abiy announced that Ethiopia would hand back to Eritrea the disputed areas, including the flashpoint town of Badme where the first shots of the border war were fired.

SOURCE: News agencies

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