Ethiopia: London Ethio-Eritrean D iscussions Comply Ethiopia’s Peace Initiative


March23, 2006(KHARTOUM)-The recent Ethiopian and Eritrean delegations’ meeting in London, under the chairmanship of the Boundary Commission, was intended to discuss procedural arrangements which the demarcation processes require, Menilik Alemu, Legal Advisor with Legal Affairs General Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia said.

Briefing journalists in his office yesterday concerning issues the delegations discussed, Menilik who was member of the delegation, said that the meeting was called in consideration of the appeals made by witnesses who signed the Algiers Agreement – USA, Algeria, EU, AU and UN.

These witnesses in their independent statements they had made at different times urged the two parties to enter into negotiation and proceed with the demarcation process, he said, adding that the meeting was called by the Boundary Commission to facilitate that the border dispute get lasting solution.

The legal advisor also said that the major issues the President of the Boundary Commission raised, among others, were matters related to hiring field liaison officers, surveyors and technical workers and contractors who would be involved in implementing the demarcation process.

He further said that the commission also appointed a US General, Fulford, as advisor to the chief surveyors whose appointment was rejected by the Eritrean delegation in the afternoon session saying that it received latest instruction from Asmara.

Regarding the realization of the demarcation process, UNMEE was demanding the lifting of Eritrea’s flight restriction for it to provide the necessary support which the Eritrean side turned it down saying it was out of the agenda, he said.

Concerning Ethiopia’s side, the legal advisor said that the delegation accepted the procedural arrangements for they were in compliance with the Five-point Peace Initiative Ethiopia offered. Ethiopia’s stand for the resolution of the border dispute is unchanged, Menelik told journalists. Nothing has been raised that obliged Ethiopia, he added.

Regarding Eritrea, Menilik added that it was required to lift the flight restriction on UNMEE and notify its acceptance or rejection of the appointment of the American General in black and white in three week’s time

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