Eritrea Accuses Ethiopia of Refuses to Negotiate Disputed Border
Eritrean authorities accused Ethiopia of cutting short peace talks in Algeria last week, saying its Horn of Africa neighbor refused to negotiate on issues relating to their disputed border.
The accusation from authorities in Asmara came after Ethiopia said it wanted an international arbitrage panel to decide on the delimitation and demarcation of the border, at the root of a two-year old war that was halted in June after a ceasefire deal was signed in Algiers.
"The proximity talks were cut short and forced to adjourn because of Ethiopia's unwillingness to engage itself in talks involving the delimitation and demarcation of the border," Eritrea's foreign affairs ministry said in a statement sent to AFP in Nairobi.
Asmara also said that it was disappointed that Ethiopian officials left the indirect talks earlier than expected, without exchanging enough views on how to move the peace process forward.
"However, the fact that a proposal is on the table addressing the remaining outstanding issues of the peace process and that both parties had submitted their comments on the proposal, however small it may be, is a progress," the ministry statement said.
The Algiers talks, held under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), were aimed at finalizing the ceasefire agreement before a full peace accord is reached.
On Tuesday, Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin said Eritrea's "intransigent behavior" had blocked the recent talks.
The meeting "failed to move forward the peace process owing to the intransigent behavior of the Eritrean government," said Seyoum, who headed the Ethiopian delegation in Algiers.
He accused Asmara of setting out "unacceptable conditions" which had led to an impasse.
An Ethiopian government spokesman said Monday that Addis Ababa had called for a reduction in Eritrea's military capacity, for international arbitrage to determine the border between the two countries and for compensation for property lost during the war.
Asmara rejected these calls, Ethiopia claimed.
Seyoum said Tuesday that he had also asked the Eritrean authorities to repatriate some 30,000 Ethiopians currently staying in more than 30 camps in Eritrea -- NAIROBI (AFP)
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