Ethiopia accepts peace deal with longtime rival Eritrea

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Ethiopia has announced it will fully accept the terms of a peace agreement with neighboring Eritrea in a major step toward calming deadly tensions with its decades-long rival.

The development Tuesday night came as the ruling party also announced the East African nation will open parts of state-owned enterprises in sectors such as energy, aviation and telecoms to private investment.

The news comes hours after Ethiopia lifted a state of emergency in what had been the most dramatic reform yet under new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has promised change after more than two years of deadly anti-government protests demanding greater freedoms.

But it is the prospect of peace with reclusive Eritrea that has come as the latest, and largest, surprise.

The agreement signed in 2000 ended a two-year war.