ADDIS ABABA : Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in the Eritrean capital Asmara on Sunday, the first visit by an Ethiopian leader to Eritrea in 20 years.

The visit comes after the two countries started tentative steps to end a two decades old bitter border dispute that led to a bloody two-year war from 1998-2000, that left an estimated 70,000 people dead from both sides.

Ahmed was greeted at the Asmara International Airport by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and is expected to hold discussions on efforts to bring lasting peace between the two nations. In a press statement, earlier on Sunday, Fitsum Arega, Chief of Staff of the Office of Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, said discussions will be held with the Eritrean president on ways to revive the common history and bond between the two nations interrupted by two decades of mistrust. Earlier this month Ethiopia received a high-level Eritrean delegation led by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Salah, the first high level Eritrean delegation to visit Ethiopia in 20 years.

The Eritrean delegation came to Ethiopia after Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki declared that his country would send a team to Ethiopia to assess a recent Ethiopia peace offer.

On June 5, the Executive Committee of the ruling party, the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) passed decision expressing Ethiopia's commitment to an unconditional implementation of Algiers peace agreement with Eritrea.

The peace agreement ended the two-year border war, but a tense armed standoff continued, with the two countries engaging in skirmishes occasionally.

Ethiopia until this month had declined to endorse the results of the peace agreement fully, including the symbolically important town of Badme which Ethiopia currently controls but which was awarded to Eritrea.

Eritrea for its part had until recently insisted the border demarcation must be done first before any talks on normalizing ties.