Home | News    Friday 7 December 2012

Ethiopia’s new leader keen for face-to-face talks with Eritrean president

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
 
December 6, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia’s newly elected prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, on Wednesday affirmed that he is willing to hold direct talks with Eritrea on the long-standing dead-lock over border dispute.

JPEG - 26.7 kb
Ethiopia’s prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn (Photo: Getty Images)

In an interview with Al-Jazeera Desalegn said he is willing to hold face-to-face talks with Eritrean president, Isaias Afwerki, in the Eritrean capital.

"If you ask me, ’Do you want to go to Asmara and sit down and negotiate with Isaias Afeworki?’ Then, I will say ’yes’", Hailemariam said, raising hopes of new peace talks between the two East African nations.
 
Last month South Sudan said that would work to mediate between Ethiopia and Eritrea over their border row.
 
South Sudan’s minister for cabinet affairs, Deng Alor, then said that both Addis Ababa and Asmara have given the green light to come for peace talks and the negotiation talks could start as of November.
 
When asked if the new approach towards Eritrea was something that came under the new post-Zenawi leadership, Desalegn stated that the decision to deal with Asmara was in line with the policy laid out by the late Zenawi.

"My predecessor Meles Zenawi had asked for more than 50 times even to go to Asmara and negotiate with Mister Isaias Afwerki," he said.

Desalegn, who assumed power shortly after longtime ruler Meles Zenawi died in August, is seen as a more moderate figure and if he managed to hold talks with the Eritrean leader then he will be the first Ethiopian leader to hold direct talks with Afeworki since the two countries ended their border war in 2000.
 
Desalegn further said that his government’s top priority is to fight poverty, to have regional integration and, “if we two [Ethiopian and Eritrea] do that, it will be much more productive."
 
Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, after a 30-year rebellion. They fought a border war between 2000 and 2002 that killed over 70,000 people.

Earlier this year, tensions between the two neighbours escalated, mounting fears of renewed conflict, after the Ethiopian army carried out cross-border attacks on military camps inside Eritrea. This was in response to the killing and abduction of foreign tourists in January 2012 in Ethiopia’s remote Afar region by rebels allegedly backed by Eritrea.

The cross-border attacks by Ethiopian troops was Addis Ababa’s first and official military incursion since the two East African nations ended the bitter war in 2000 over the disputed town of Badme, which had been attributed to Eritrea by a UN border committee.
 
However, the flashpoint remains under the control of Ethiopia, which seeks further negotiations.
 
Ethiopia and Eritrea frequently trade accusations of backing one an others rebel groups to destabilise one the other.
 
(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


South Sudan Conflict: SPLM is the problem and the solution 2017-06-23 23:55:36 By Tor Madira Machier, Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the fractured Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the SPLM has been the reason for the suffering the South Sudanese have been (...)

The Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement: The impasse is breakable! 2017-06-22 04:51:22 By Salman M.A. Salman A summit of the head of states of the Nile Basin countries is planned for June 22, 2017, in Entebbe, Uganda, to discuss the impasse over the Nile Basin Cooperative (...)

Sudan, Libya, and Support for Radical Islamic Militants: A Vignette 2017-06-21 23:24:54 By Eric Reeves | June 21, 2017 In October 2014, I analysed some of the implications of minutes reflecting the deliberations of the most senior military and intelligence officials of the National (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


HRW denounces "collective punishment" in South Sudan’s Wau 2017-04-15 07:06:48 Human Right Watch South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau (Nairobi, April 14, 2017) – Government soldiers and allied militias (...)

Statement by South Sudanese Communist Party on the National Dialoguel 2017-03-22 05:44:42 The Communist Party of South Sudan On the Initiative of the National Dialogue The initiative taken by the President of the Republic of South Sudan declaring a need for a national dialogue is an (...)

An Appeal to President of the Republic of South Sudan 2017-03-15 07:22:45 Dear. Mr. President, I write to appeal to you for the release of political detainees now in the custody of the National Security Service at Jebel and other detention facilities. In doing this, I (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.