Top US official meets Eritrean leader

A senior US official is on a rare visit to Eritrea which until recently was internationally isolated and under sanctions.

The US Assistant Secretary for Africa, Tibor Nagy, has met President Isaias Afwerki and his visit comes at a time when significant changes are taking place in the region following an end to hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Eritrea's information minister has tweeted a picture of the meeting:

Yemane G. Meskel@hawelti

 President Isaias Afwerki received today US Assistant Secretary for Africa, Tibor Nagy, to discuss bilateral & regional issues of mutual interest.  Pre. Isaias underlined Eritrea's readiness for constructive engagement to foster warm ties of cooperation with US in various sectors

Sanctions imposed on Eritrea in 2009 over allegations it supported Islamist militants in Somalia were lifted last month - Eritrea always denied the allegations.

The human rights group Amnesty International has called on Mr Nagy to use the visit to address what it calls Eritrea's dire human rights record.

Amnesty wants the US to put pressure on the government to release what it calls prisoners of conscience.