African Press International (API)

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Ethiopia foreign minister sends first ever letter to Eritrean counterpart

Posted by African Press International on September 27, 2007

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin on Tuesday transmitted the first ever letter to his Eritrean counterpart notifying Eritrea of its material breaches of the Algiers Agreements.

Ethiopias entitlement to invoke the breaches is a ground for considering legal and peaceful options, a foreign ministry statement said.

The ministry said that legal and peaceful options may include terminating the Agreements or suspending their operation in whole or in part.

The two countries signed the Algers agrement three years ago to end their border conflict peacefully and after which the UN deployed its peacekeeping forces.

Mesfin also transmitted a copy of Ethiopias Notification to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General, and to other Witnesses of the Algiers Agreements including the AU, the foreign ministry of Algeria and the US State Department.

In his letter to the above, Seyoum explained that the notification is a formal legal measure with a specific purpose of putting Eritrea on notice that unless Eritrea returns into compliance with the agreements, its material breach would force Ethiopia to consider its peaceful and legal options under international law.”

Despite Ethiopias scrupulous observance of its obligations under the Agreements and in particular, despite Ethiopias readiness to demarcate the boundary on the basis of the delimitation decision of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Boundary Commission (EEBC), Eritrea has shown no willingness to be in the compliance with the Algiers Agreements, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign affairs said.

Ethiopia is still calling for dialogue to solve the border dispute while Eritrea refused any dialogue with Ethiopia unless the border demarcated physicaly as it was decided four years ago by the The Hague based Ethiopian and Eritrean Boundary Commission(EEBC).

Ethiopia is saying that the commission did a mistake, and awarded Ethiopian town ,Badme to Eritrea.

The Ministry also said Eritrea has made repeated public threats against Ethiopia and imposed severe restrictions on United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) besides coordinating the activities of “terrorist groups” to destabilize the region.

For all these compelling reasons, the statement said, it has become imperative that Ethiopia reminds Eritrea of its responsibilities under the Algiers Agreements.

“Seyoum also transmitted to the parties above, a detailed explanation underling Ethiopias commitment to peace resolution of disputes and its willingness to engage Eritrea in sincere, good faith discussions, the ministry added.

The two countries launched a border war in 1998 and during which over 70,000 soldiers were died from the two sides.

Published by Korir, API*APN source.apa

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