Ethiopia

United States, European Union urge Ethiopian political dialogue

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Joint statement calls for reconciliation, nonviolence in election disputes

The United States and the European Union expect all parties in Ethiopia "to abide by the political process through parliamentary and constitutional means to resolve" the election crisis, according to joint statement issued by the U.S. State Department July 13.

"We urge the nation's political leaders as well as those in the Diaspora to work together for political dialogue and support open communication towards reconciliation and a commitment to peace and nonviolence," the joint statement said.

Following is the text of the statement:

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
July 13, 2005

REVISED 2005/696

Statement by Tom Casey, Acting Spokesman

Situation in Ethiopia

The following is a joint Statement by the United States and the European Union:

The European Union and the United States commend the Ethiopian people for their peaceful and democratic expression of political will on May 15. The international community urges in the strongest terms that all parties to the elections and the government abide by their commitment to the June 10 and June 13, 2005 declarations. All parties should renounce all use of violence, inflammatory, defamatory or ethnic hate messages via the media or internet, and any other action that is likely to further increase tension in Ethiopia.

The European Union and the United States expect all political parties and the government to abide by the political process through parliamentary and constitutional means to resolve this election crisis. We urge all parties to participate fully in the Complaints Investigation Panel Process. All dissenting views need to be registered and the personal safety of witnesses ensured. Where there are procedural or other problems, these need to be addressed swiftly and constructively.

We urge the nation's political leaders as well as those in the Diaspora to work together for political dialogue and support open communication towards reconciliation and a commitment to peace and non-violence. We note the announcement by the National Electoral Board on 8 July of the first set of final election results, and call on all sides to dedicate their efforts to ensure that the electoral process continues to be carried out in a transparent and fully open manner.

We expect all political parties including the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF) to respect the political process with the National Electoral Board and continue working for the promotion of democracy and a vibrant society. We urge the government of Ethiopia to respect international principles of human rights by exercising due process and releasing detained party members and party supporters who are not going to be charged.

The European Union and the United States will assist Ethiopia as it meets these new democratic challenges.

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(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)