Brussels, 13 June 2005 - The European Union commends the political parties and electoral authorities, for the joint declaration on the electoral process signed on 10 June. The agreement reached should ensure that the current electoral process, including the investigations aimed at resolving the differences regarding the election results, be concluded in a transparent manner and to the satisfaction of all parties.
The European Union welcomes, in particular, the commitment of the signatories of the declaration to make every effort to avoid violence or actions which might encourage violence, to show restraint, and to resolve differences peacefully and by legal means. The European Union firmly expects that the parties will honour the agreement and their commitments, so as to avoid a repetition of the deplorable situation which has come about in Addis Ababa in recent days, leading to the loss of human life.
The European Union calls on the government and opposition to continue to resolve their differences through dialogue, in accordance with Ethiopian law and the Constitution. In this context, the European Union emphasises that the representatives of all parties should be able to act in an environment free of intimidation and threats. It also recalls the importance of the role of the media, in particular the State-controlled media, in order to ensure that public opinion be informed in an impartial, balanced and pluralistic way.
The European Union Election Observation Mission remains present on the ground to observe the final stages of the elections, including the investigations of differences respecting its mandate.
The European Union will continue to follow the situation in Ethiopia very closely and remains willing to provide full support for the current process.
The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.