PM Benjamin Netanyahu (r) and Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed in Jerusalem, Sept. 1, 2019. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO) (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
PM Netanyahu and Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

During the congratulatory phone call, Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit his country. 

By United With Israel Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on winning the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize via a phone call on Tuesday.

During the call, the Ethiopian leader said he was impressed by his recent visit to Israel. He also invited Netanyahu to make an official visit to Ethiopia, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Ahmed, 43, Africa’s youngest prime minister, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his efforts to end the long-running border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He was also praised by the Norwegian Nobel Institute for the “important reforms” he has brought to his country since becoming prime minister in April 2018.

Ethiopia’s acceptance of a peace agreement with Eritrea, one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts, surprised the continent. Weeks later, Eritrea’s longtime leader, Isaias Afwerki, visited Addis Ababa. Families separated by the contentious border for 20 years were reunited, and communications and transport links were restored.

Additional accomplishments by Ahmed include acknowledgment of past abuses, allowing free expression on social media platforms, freeing tens of thousands of prisoners, calling for fair elections and forming a gender-balanced cabinet. The prime minister is also seeking to improve Ethiopia’s economy by allowing private investment.

Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz tweeted his own congratulations to Ahmed last week. “PM Abiy put an end to decades of war between Ethiopia and Eritrea and strengthened his country’s democracy,” Gantz wrote. “I hope his courageous acts will inspire leaders around the world to follow suit.”