Saudi Arabia’s King Salman invites UN chief to Ethiopia, Eritrea peace summit

Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attend a concert in Addis Ababa, after signing an initial declaration of peace, in July. (Reuters)
Updated 14 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman invites UN chief to Ethiopia, Eritrea peace summit

  • The two countries, 20 years after commencing what turned into a protracted border war, announced a cessation of hostilities two months ago
  • Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will host the signing ceremony in Jeddah to be attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has invited UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to attend the signing of the peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea in Jeddah, according to Al-Arabiya.
The two countries, 20 years after commencing what turned into a protracted border war, announced a cessation of hostilities two months ago.
Ethiopia and Eritrea will attend the summit in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to sign an agreement cementing the thaw between the two former Horn of Africa enemies, a UN spokesman said Friday.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will host the signing ceremony in Jeddah to be attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.
UN spokesman Farhan Haq did not provide details, saying the Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders would sign a “further agreement helping to cement the positive relations between them.”
On Tuesday, the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea reopened two land border crossing points for the first time in 20 years, clearing the way for trade between the two nations.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki signed a declaration of peace in July that formally ended two decades of hostility.
Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in the early 1990s, and war broke out later that decade over a border dispute.
A 2002 UN-backed boundary demarcation was meant to settle the dispute for good, but Ethiopia refused to abide by it.
A turnaround began in June when Abiy announced that Ethiopia would hand back to Eritrea the disputed areas including the flashpoint town of Badme where the first shots of the border war were fired.


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.