Ethiopia

Ethiopian Envoy Confers With Bouteflika

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ALGIERS, Algeria (PANA) - Ethiopia will do its best to end its war with Eritrea and implement the OAU peace plan, Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Seyoum Mesfin said Sunday in Algiers.
Seyoum, who handed a written message to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, said he discussed the OAU peace plan with his host.

The Algerian leader, in his capacity as the chairman of the OAU, has been mediating in the conflict.

Seyoum said he was honoured by the long discussions he had with Bouteflika during which, he said, he informed him of the latest developments in the implementation of the peace plan.

"President Bouteflika reasserted his full commitment to solving the tragic crisis between Ethiopia and Eritrea," Seyoum added.

Asked whether the crisis between the two countries would be resolved soon, the minister said that substantial ground has been covered in that respect.

He, however, identified a number of issues that need to be addressed by the chairman.

He said Ethiopia believed that "the cornerstone" in the settlement process was that it was necessary to "revert to the status quo prior to May 1998 and to re-establish the situation prevailing before Eritrea attacked Ethiopia."

This is, he said, "what Africa had decide through the basic agreement and the modalities of implementation adopted during the Algiers summit."

"We wish to abide by the African decisions and we insist on a speedy implementation of the peace plan," he said.

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