July 19, 2018 / 6:52 AM / Updated an hour ago Eritrean troops withdraw from Ethiopian border: Eritrean Press agency ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Eritrea has pulled troops back from its heavily militarized border with Ethiopia as a “gesture of reconciliation”, the pro-government Eritrean Press agency said on its Facebook page. Eritrea’s President, Isaias Afwerki talks to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri There was no immediate confirmation from the government in Asmara, but the move would be consistent with rapidly improving ties between the Horn of Africa neighbors, whose 1998 war killed tens of thousands and led to two decades of military stalemate. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki signed an agreement in Asmara on July 9 to restore ties and have since taken steps to put it into practice including reopening embassies in each others countries. “It is imperative for all those who care about the long-term stability and economic viability of the region to do everything they can to help the two countries move beyond the senseless war that wrought so much suffering on both peoples,” the agency said. Earlier on Thursday, Ethiopia appointed its first ambassador to Eritrea in two decades, the state-affiliated Fana news agency said. An online report from Fana said Redwan Hussien, formerly Ethiopian ambassador to Ireland, had become Addis Ababa’s representative in Asmara. Abiy became prime minister in April and said he wanted to implement a peace deal that ended the war. The surprise decision was part of a broader effort to reform economics and politics in Ethiopia, the second-most populous country in Africa and east Africa’s largest economy.