Ethiopians And Eritreans Together On The Warm Welcome Of President Isayas Afeworki
The security situation in Addis Ababa is entirely different from the one in Asmara. That explains heavy presence of paratroopers at Bole international airport as Eritrean president Isayas Afeworki was arriving this morning for the first time in nearly two decades – a phenomenon which political analysts describe as a breakthrough not just in terms of political relation between Ethiopia and Eritrea, countries that share so much including blood relation, but for the security of the horn of Africa as well. His visit to Ethiopia came just a week after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paid a visit to Asmara where he was warmly welcomed.
Abiy Ahmed, members of his government and other Ethiopian dignitaries including Lema Megersa, president of Oromo region of Ethiopia who later presented Eritrean president with a horse and shield at the National palace, were waiting at the airport as the jet carrying Isayas Afeworki touches down in Addis Ababa. The gifts he got from Lemma are treasured in Ethiopia and in Eritrea too, as they are considered symbols of Ethiopian warriors. In fact there are Ethiopians who seem to see traits of Ethiopian warriors in the personalities of Eritrea’s selfless leader.
Residents of Addis Ababa also took to the street to cheer the president as he was being driven from Bole international airport to the national palace in the heart of the city.
“Today is a historic day. Our love is sincere and from the heart. Here after the people of Eritrea and the people of Ethiopia is one. We thank for the warm welcome and hospitality” said Eritrean president in his speech at the National palace.
The two countries have already signed agreements to leave behind the bitterness that followed the deadly two years war between 1998 and 2000, pursue peace instead and vowed to cooperate politically, economically and otherwise.
Direct telephone line between Eritrea and Ethiopia is restored. African’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, will resume flight to Asmara starting July 18, according to Ethiopian Airlines officials.
Isayas is in Ethiopia for a three days visit and he is scheduled to visit Hawassa Industrial Park in Southern Ethiopia. He is also expected to attend a concert organized at the Millennium Hall in the capital, which is organized to honour his visit to Ethiopia, and the event will attract more than twenty five thousand people. Prominent Ethiopian artists including Mahmod Ahmed will perform at the event.