Eritrea says it and Somalia restore diplomatic ties

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MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – Eritrea says it and Somalia have agreed to restore diplomatic relations in another thaw in the restive Horn of Africa region.

Eritrea’s information minister has announced the agreement on Twitter as Somalia’s president ends a historic three-day visit to one of the world’s most closed-off nations. There is no immediate comment from Somalia.

The countries have not had diplomatic ties for nearly 15 years. Eritrea remains under United Nations sanctions for allegedly supporting the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group. Eritrea denies it.

The visit by Somalia’s leader follows a stunning diplomatic thaw between Eritrea and neighboring Ethiopia after more than two decades. Ethiopia under reformist new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has asked that the sanctions on Eritrea be dropped.

The U.N. chief has indicated the sanctions could be obsolete.

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