Ethiopia last Tuesday warmly welcomed a high-level Eritrean delegation to Addis Ababa for peace talks aimed at ending up the conflict and animosity which took both countries over two decades.
The historic visit was the first time in more than two decades. And it came to happen due to the new Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed initiatives and a call to Asmara regime to restart talks, find a lasting solution to the problem and President Issayas Afewerki's positive response to send a delegation to Ethiopia.
The arrival of the delegation is a fundamental move and promising ones which paved a way to map out future activities: to rework on their issues, peacefully solve problems which the two countries involved in and find a lasting solution to normalize their relations. Interestingly, it is intended to conduct high-level peace talk between the leaders of the two countries [Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki] and more talks are expected to take place in the near future.
The Ethio-Eritrean border war, which broke out in 1998, has spoiled the two countries diplomatic relations and led both countries to huge human, social and economic costs.
It has broken up family ties, ruined the social fabric of the people and caused hostility. It has displaced thousands of peoples and even some are still residing in the border areas risking their lives.
It is clear that no country benefited from hostility and war; except multifaceted bankruptcies. Ethiopia is the best example for this. In its history, the country went through a number of civil wars. All has gained it nothing except ruin.
The two neighboring countries while they had ample opportunities to build up their economies mutually and speed up their developments; they missed the available chances because peace has remained an elusive between them.
The other issue is that the conflict apart from costing the two countries which are in 'no peace, no war' situation, it has caused a serious concern for the region.
In fact, time has now brought substantial changes and a new chapter which blazes a light of hope for is opened: to restore real peace between the two countries.
The peace talk and agreement between the two would help to reunite the peoples of the two countries who not only 'cut from the same cloth' but have also common history, cultures, and languages. Beyond that, it would break the wall of hostility and aggression. Equally important, it eases tensions, sustain peace and stability and strengthen integrity within the horn of Africa and beyond.
However, to enjoy the promising hope of peace and to close mistrust, hostility and war of decades for irreversibly, the peoples of the two countries should support the ongoing process of their respective governments. Governments, in the other way, should work to embark a new cooperation and neighborliness in a manner it benefits the peoples of the two sisterly peoples.