Eritrea + 1 more

Eritrea/Ethiopia: Meeting between Minister Dini and the President of the State of Eritrea

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Rome, 13 December 1999 - The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lamberto Dini, met the President of the State of Eritrea, Isaias Afeworki at the Farnesina today. Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Rino Serri, also attended the meeting.

Talks concerned the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, with regard to which Foreign Minister Dini reaffirmed as he did last week to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Italy's full support for the mediation action carried out by the Algerian Presidency of the Organization for African Unity. In such a context, Italy hopes that both sides will welcome the proposals made by the Algerian presidency and that the OAU's plan can be implemented as soon as possible.

President Afeworki pointed out the importance of the role played by Italy and the European Union in the quest for a peaceful solution to the conflict, and underlined the need for both sides, including Ethiopia, to accept the proposals put to them without condition.

Minister Dini reiterated a strong appeal to both sides for fighting not to be resumed during the current phase. He also highlighted the fact that it is necessary, both on the international level as well as on the bilateral level, to restore a stable form of peace. This would not only make cooperation operations effective again but would also reactivate flows of private investment into the country.