Yamamoto holds talks with Eritrean prez, withholds outcome
ASMARA, Eritrea, 7 Dec. 2004 (AFP) - US
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto held
bilateral talks with Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki in the capital Asmara,
a presidential spokesman said.
"The discussions were
aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation in all fields," President Isaias'
chief of staff Yemane Gebremeskel told AFP by telephone in Asmara on Tuesday.
Asked whether the discussions included
military cooperation, Yemane said: "I don't want to go into details."
After Ethiopia announced a peace proposal
late last month, Yamamoto said the US position remained the same on the
Eritrea-Ethiopia border issue and that he wanted a decision of Eritrea-Ethiopia
Boundary Commission (EEBC) to be implemented.
"We leave it to the Eritreans to
comment on the talks between Yamamoto and the Eritrean President, because they
are the hosts," a US embassy official said in Asmara.
Since September 2003, Ethiopia had been
rejecting the "final and binding" demarcation imposed by the EEBC,
which was set up after the end of the 1998-2000 border war between the two
Late November, Addis Ababa finally
accepted in "principle" the EEBC's decision, but called for
"adjustments" within the framework of a peace proposal.
The United States is one of the few
members of the international community not to have commented on the Ethiopian
"Making noise doesn't help around
there," the embassy official said in Asmara on Tuesday.
The European Union has said the Ethiopian
proposal is "positive," but Isaias has rejected it, saying in an
official statement released on Tuesday that "Eritrea will not accept any
alternatives to the EEBC's decision."
Yamamoto leaves for visits to Rwanda on
Tuesday evening and to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Thursday, the
embassy official said, adding that he would not visit Ethiopia.
The situation between Rwanda and the DRC
remains tense after the United Nations said on Tuesday that it was almost
certain that Rwandan soldiers had entered the DRC in the last two weeks.