NAIROBI – An Ethiopian commercial ship docked in an Eritrean port for the first time in two decades on Wednesday, state-affiliated media said, in a concrete sign of a stunning rapprochement between the neighbors and former foes.
The Mekelle entered the Red Sea port of Massawa and was due to carry 11,000 tonnes of Eritrean zinc to China, Ethiopian broadcaster Fana Broadcasting reported.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed offered to make peace with Eritrea after taking office in April – part of a series of reforms that has turned politics on its head in his country and the region.
Landlocked Ethiopia has said it wants to make the re-opening of two roads connecting it to two of Eritrea’s ports a priority in the reconciliation process.
Eritrea’s information minister, Yemane Ghebremeskel, said on Twitter that Abiy had arrived in Eritrea on a two-day working visit. The premier would visit Massawa and the capital Asmara, he added.
Abiy first visited Eritrea in July as the countries agreed to end a two-decade old military standoff over their border and other issues.[nL8N1U405A]