By Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki reopened an embassy in Ethiopia marking a thaw in relations after two decades.
The embassy was inaugurated in capital Addis Ababa on the last day of his three-day visit to Ethiopia.
On July 9, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed led a high level delegation to Eritrea on a two-day visit during which Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a declaration formally ending the war between the two countries while they agreed for the reopening of embassies in each other's countries, allow Ethiopia to use the Port of Asab at cheaper rates, and resume phone and air transport services, among others.
Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1993. And from 1998 - 2000 the two fought a bloody war in which an estimated 70,000 - 80,000 people perished.
An Algiers agreement ended the two-year war and an international boundary commission gave Badme that was a flash point for the war to Eritrea while it compelled Eritrea to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensations for the huge Ethiopian shipments it confiscated at the Port of Assab.
The new diplomatic thaw was made possible after the coming to power in Ethiopia of Africa's youngest leader, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has taken numerous reform measures domestically and also taken a friendly stance towards Eritrea.
Afeworki left Addis Ababa after inaugurating the embassy. He was seen off by Ahmed.