United Arab Emirates President Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan honoured on Tuesday Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed with the Zayed Medal, the highest medal in the state, for their efforts in ending the bilateral conflict and starting a new phase of cooperation and stability between the two historic rivals.
Early in July, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed an agreement to end the conflict that lasted for 20 years between the two countries, since 1998, over a border dispute, which resulted in killing more than 80,000 people and displacing more than 350,000 people on the borders in the two countries.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed praised the agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, describing it as a historic movement that will open spaces for peace and prosperity. He added that the agreement will support peace and stability in the African Horn.
Bin Zayed said following a trilateral meeting with the two African leaders in Abu Dhabi, “We hope that this step could help in upgrading the cooperation between the two neighbouring countries to achieve the ambition of the two countries’ peoples.”
He added, “The brave and historic step that was taken by the leaders of the two friendly states to end the dispute and open new horizons for cooperation is considered as an experience that could be applied in settling many disputes and conflicts all over the world.”
The UAE and European and other Gulf countries have increasing interests, military bases, and trade ports in the African Horn.