Ethiopia affirms readiness for dialogue with Eritrea

Ethiopia affirms readiness for dialogue with Eritrea

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopian government officials this week reaffirmed their commitment to have peace discussions with longtime foe and neighbor Eritrea with the aim of ending decades of tension along the border that has seen war and strife.

During his meeting with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the Ethiopian Minister of foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom accused the Eritrean government of refusing to engage in peace talks.

Adhanom said his country is ready to sit down for direct negotiations with Eritrea without any preconditions regarding to level, time or venue.

But the Ethiopian top diplomat stressed “the belligerent party opposed to these talks has always been the Eritrean side”.

According to the ministry of foreign Affairs, Tedros expressed solidarity with the people of Eritrea whom he said are continuously suffering due the regime’s “brutality and obstinacy to peace”.

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war in 1998-2000 that has killed an estimated 70,000 people.

The two East African adversaries remain at loggerheads since the disputed key town of Badme had been awarded to Eritrea by an international border commission.

Government officials here in the Ethiopia capital told Bikyanews.com that they are “confident” that the situation will finally be resolved.

One foreign ministry spokesperson, who was not authorized to speak with the media, said that they hoped “the ongoing discussions between government officials would lead to a finality of the situation and help to build and mend the broken ties between the two countries.”

It is still unclear where the people fall in the ongoing negotiations, with many telling Bikyanews.com that they believe the time is now to end the tension along the border and start to build new economic relations.

BN