In this grab taken from video provided by ERITV, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, centre left is welcomed by Erirea's President Isaias Afwerki as he disembarks the plane. Picture: ERITV via AP

Johannesburg - The African National Congress (ANC) has commended and congratulated Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali on the successful conclusion of the Asmara Summit’s watershed ‘’Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia’’.

In a statement late on Tuesday, the ANC said it concurs with the Asmara Joint Declaration that over the past 20 years some forces have denied the opportunity to build a bright future based on common heritage for their peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

The declaration was signed on Monday.

"We stand ready assist our sister countries in making up for lost opportunities and creating an even bigger golden opportunities including, where required, to facilitate intimate political, economic, social, cultural and security cooperation that serves and advances the vital interests of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia," said the statement issued by ANC national spokesperson, Pule Mabe. 

"We are elated that transport, trade and communications links between the two sister countries will resume and that diplomatic ties and activities will restart in earnest. 

"We note with joy, the announcement by Ethiopian Airlines that regular flights between Addis Ababa and Asmara will begin next week and that direct telephone calls between the two capitals are now operational.
"We note the positive implications of this emerging regional Ethiopian-Eritrea partnership will have, in advancing the challenging road ahead to regional peace, development, and cooperation, most notably in South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia."

The ANC said it looks forward to successful implementation of the provisions of the 2000 Algiers Agreement and the 2002 Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission’s final and binding decision.  
"The ANC also warmly compliments the decisive Ethiopian Prime Minister’s formal request to the UN Secretary-General for the lifting of the US-led, UN Sanctions on Eritrea. We are certain that victory belongs to the masses. Viva the leadership and peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia."

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa has also welcomed the resumption of diplomatic relations between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Eritrea, following the announcement made in the Eritrean capital Asmara on Sunday by Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali, and Eritrean President, Isaias Afewerki, that they would open embassies in each other's countries.

Ramaphosa lauded this as a positive outcome following developments in the relations between the two countries, including the commitment and implementation of the Algiers Agreement of 2000 and the Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission (EEBC) of 2002.

"South Africa looks forward to a full normalisation of relations and the realisation of our shared aspirations for both countries to enjoy enduring peace and development," said Ramaphosa, adding that Pretoria would support the path of reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea which has the potential to yield greater prosperity and security, not only for the citizens of both countries, but also for the greater Horn of Africa region and the continent as a whole.

African News Agency (ANA)