In a landmark visit, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed landed in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, on Sunday, for a bi-lateral summit. Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki warmly greeted Abiy at the airport, Eritrea's state television showed

The UN Security Council has described the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship signed by the leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia, as “a historic and significant” move.

The Council also said that the joint declaration has “far-reaching consequences” for the whole Horn of Africa region and beyond.

The agreement, signed on Monday by Eritrean President, Isaias Afwerki, and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, signalled the resumption of diplomatic ties for the first time in two decades between the two countries.

The joint declaration also opened a “new chapter of cooperation and partnership,” according to a statement issued on behalf of the 15 Council members.

Among the measures agreed by the two leaders during the historic meeting in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, were the restoration of flights, the opening of embassies, and for Ethiopia to use port facilities in Eritrea.

A block on telecommunications was also lifted, allowing families divided following a war across the disputed border between the countries, which left thousands dead, to telephone each other.

The Council “recognised the call in the Joint Declaration for solidarity and support, and encouraged all actors to offer their support to the peace process”, said the Council’s statement.

The Security Council added that members “stand ready to support Eritrea and Ethiopia in their implementation of the Joint Declaration”.

Council members also took note of the Secretary-General António Guterres’ offer to support the process.

On Monday, Mr Guterres said at Addis Ababa, where he was attending the Second Annual UN-African Union conference, that the “recent evolution” of relations in the past few weeks was “a very important signal of hope, not only for these two countries, not only for Africa, but for the whole world”.

“The UN is ready to do whatever the two parties ask us to do…The UN will be entirely at their disposal to do whatever is necessary to facilitate the success of what needs to be done,” Guterres added.

Ahmed became Prime Minister of Ethiopia in February, following the resignation of his predecessor, and is the first leader to hail from the majority Oromo ethnic group.

He previously served in Government as Minister for Science and Technology, and since taking office, he has implemented a large number of political reforms.

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