Eritrea leader visits Ethiopia on Saturday in historic thaw

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Eritrea's longtime President Isaias Afwerki is visiting Ethiopia on Saturday, the latest step in an unprecedented diplomatic thaw between the former archrivals.

Eritrea's information minister Yemane Gebremeskel confirms the visit on Twitter, saying it will "add momentum to the joint march for peace and cooperation."

The visit by the leader of one of the world's most reclusive countries comes after Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a historic trip to Eritrea last weekend for talks with Isaias, setting off the restoration of diplomatic ties after two decades.

The thaw began when Abiy announced Ethiopia would fully accept a peace deal that ended a two-year border war that killed tens of thousands and separated families.

Now phone lines are restored and scheduled Ethiopian Airlines flights to Eritrea begin next week.