Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has taken part in a ceremony bringing two rival groups from the country's Orthodox church, one of the world's first Christian congregations.

Mr Abiy attended the event during a visit to the United States where he met members of a breakaway faction of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

The dissidents founded their own church after a dispute in 1991 over the naming of a new patriarch which, they said, violated ecclesiastical law stipulating the role must be held for life.

Talks to end the rift have been going on for a long time, but Mr Abiy is credited with speeding up the process.

The prime minister's chief of staff has tweeted pictures from the reunification meeting in Washington.

And Mr Abiy is also due to meet US Vice-President Mike Pence, Ethiopia's state-linked Fana Broadcasting Corporate is reporting.