By Ethiopian radio
ADDIS ABABA, Dec 29, 2003 — Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has said that it has been decided that the tri-partite cooperation among Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen should develop to a higher level.
At a meeting of the second tri-partite Sanaa Cooperation Summit at the National Palace [in Addis Ababa] today, Mr Meles said the cooperation summit was based on the common interest of the three countries.
In a joint press statement, the leaders of the three countries said the cooperation forum has no intention of alienating anyone and invites other neighbouring countries to participate. Minalachew Simachew has the details:
[Minalachew] Opening the second tri-partite San’a cooperation forum at the National Palace today, Prime Minister Meles said that the Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen cooperation is based on the common interest of the three countries. Mr Meles said that the three countries, by forming a healthy cooperation forum and strengthening their relationship, have decided to expand it to a tangible and higher level in the economic, trade and cultural sectors. He said that the agreement reached among them and the joint draft cooperation charter that will be signed today is an evidence to that end.
Prime Minister Meles who said the Sanaa cooperation forum is growing stronger went on to say that the forum is open to accommodate neighbouring countries that cooperate for peace and common interest.
[Meles in English] We are three countries that are determined to build on the common interest we share for the purpose of facilitating greater cooperation amongst our countries. [Passage omitted: reporter’s details on the same].
[Minalachew] Prime Minister Meles assured the leaders that Ethiopia will continue with her efforts to make sure that the cooperation that exist between Ethiopia Yemen and Sudan continues further. [Passage omitted: on economic and cultural ties as covered earlier].
Responding to views that the Ethiopia, Yemen and Sudan cooperation forum was aimed at conspiring against Eritrea, the three leaders said although Eritrea is a war monger that cannot coexist in peace with her neighbouring countries, they did not carry out a secretive discussion based on this issue.
According to the leaders, each of the three countries have the capability to individually defend any provocative threat that might come from Eritrea. The leaders said that the governments of the three countries have a policy of resolving any conflict with Eritrea through dialogue and peacefully.
BBC Monitoring Africa