Italy’s PM visits Ethiopia and soon Eritrea to support peace

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – Italy’s prime minister is visiting Ethiopia and is awaited in Eritrea after the neighbors and once-bitter rivals made surprising peace earlier this year.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says this is the first visit by a Western leader since the peace accord that ended years of deadly border tensions.

Conte is expected to discuss migration, a sensitive topic in Italy, as well as investment opportunities in Ethiopia, one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

He was met at the airport by Ethiopia’s reformist new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and is expected to meet with members of the Italian community.

Eritrea’s information minister says Conte on Friday will discuss bilateral cooperation and “international matters of mutual interest” with longtime President Isaias Afwerki during his visit.

Eritrea is a major source of migrants.

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, foreground, arrives at the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 for a bilateral visit to the country. The two parties will have bilateral discussions on trade, investment, and other matters according to Ethiopia's Prime Minister's office. (AP Photo)

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, foreground, arrives at the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 for a bilateral visit to the country. The two parties will have bilateral discussions on trade, investment, and other matters according to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister’s office. (AP Photo)

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, left, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali stand attention at they review the guard of honor, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the occasion of an official visit, Thursday Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo)

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, left, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali stand attention at they review the guard of honor, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the occasion of an official visit, Thursday Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo)

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, stands by Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during a welome ceremonh upon his arrival at the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The two parties will have bilateral discussions on trade, investment, and other matters according to Ethiopia's Prime Minister's office. (AP Photo)

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, stands by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during a welome ceremonh upon his arrival at the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The two parties will have bilateral discussions on trade, investment, and other matters according to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister’s office. (AP Photo)

AP

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