The Ethiopian Catholic Church has joined the welcoming ceremony of the Eritrean high level delegation
that has arrived at Addis Ababa on June 26, 2018 to engage in peace talks with the Ethiopian
Government. His Eminence Cardinal Berhaneyesus, C.M., Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa,
President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia and Association of Member Episcopal Conferences
of Eastern Africa (AMECEA) Chairman was part of the warm welcome that was led by Ethiopian Prime
Minister H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed. The High level Eritrean delegation was composed of two officials and they
were H.E. Mr. Osman Salih, Eritrean Foreign Minister and H.E. Mr. Yemane Gebreab, special advisor to
Mr. Isaias Afewerki, the Eritrean President.
Cardinal Berhaneyesus, C.M., said that this is a happy day for the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea as the Catholic faithful in both countries have been praying for peace since the conflict started. According to His Eminence the Catholic Church has served as a bridge during all these years through theAssembly of Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia and Eritrea who was meeting until recently to discuss the life of the Church in both countries and this has continued until the Holy decided to establish a Metropolitan Sui Iuris Church of Asamara.
“I thank the Catholic faithful in Ethiopia and Eritrea and those who are in the Diaspora for continuously
praying for peace. I would like to congratulate them for we have received answers to our prayers. This is
a first step to sustainable peace and I ask you to continue praying that with God’s grace this initiative
may be successful. I invite all Catholic Faithful in both countries to pray for the governments of both
countries that God my lead and bless the discussions they are holding to resolve the problem,” asked
the Cardinal to the faithful.
Cardinal Berhaneyesus added that the level of welcoming ceremony organized for the delegation shows how seriously the Ethiopian government is taking to bring harmony and peace between the two countries. He noted that it is important to look into the wisdom of the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea in bringing about sustainable peace. He said Ethiopians and Eritreans are great people who in history have contributed a lot in bringing peace in other countries, and they are capable of solving their own problems.
“I believe we don’t need to look for help anywhere else in bringing peace among our countries, if we
collaborate we can find solutions to our problems ourselves. Let us pray to God that He may guide us in
the road for peace. Now in our countries it is the rainy season and traditionally we say the coming
season in September is a season of bright hope – let us pray we will get much more good news in this
coming season of hope,” said Cardinal Berhaneyesus.
Religious leaders, Ethiopian elders, artists and other important figures were all waiting for the Eritrean
delegation as they arrived in Ethiopia. Flags of both countries and posters with welcoming messages
were hanged on the streets of the Capital city. It is the first time in 20 years a high level Eritrean
delegation comes to Ethiopia. Eretria is also one of the member countries of AMECEA.