There is no dispute in the Horn
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Eritrea’s overture for peace with Ethiopia and The Sudan


Saana, Yemen, 11 Dec 2004  – Following the restoration of friendly relations with Yemen, Eritrea has now opened up for peace with Ethiopia and the restoration of friendly relations with The Sudan. In a speech he gave at a press conference that concluded his two-day visit to Yemen, Eritrea’s president appreciated among other things Yemen’s offer and efforts to bring Ethiopia into unequivocal compliance with the border ruling and to end the Eritrea-Sudan row.


There is no dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the border dispute has already been settled legally and conclusively by The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission. Eritrea has accepted the decision of the Commission unequivocally. What is left is for Ethiopia to follow suit as agreed upon and is called for by the Algiers Agreement. That is all there is between Eritrea and Ethiopia, said the president.


The president emphasized that the world is governed by the rule of law and that “the law is the law”.


“Law is what governs relations between countries. Respect and sovereignty of law are above everything. The will, readiness, resources and capability might all be available, but reaping the benefits of all these can only be achieved under the law.


We have no difference with Sudan and Ethiopia. And the boarder difference with Ethiopia have been resolved through the agreements which we signed in Algeria. And in accordance with the agreements, a court or a commission was set up to resolve this issue in 2000. And in April 2002 the commission issued a compulsory and final resolution in accordance with the agreement signed in Algeria in 2000. Ethiopia was hesitant in accepting the resolution and rejected the court's ruling.


Eritrea says there is no difference, and the requirement and the fundamental need to overcome the difference is to respect the law and agreements as well as implementing it. The differences between Eritrea and Ethiopia is this pending issue [of boarder dispute] which must be resolved.


I thank brother Ali Abdallah Salih for this effort, and that he will take the Yemeni initiative and will advice brothers in Ethiopia to be committed to the international agreements which they have signed and accept the resolutions which they have promised to remain committed to the agreements and help the international community in implementing this agreements and demarcate the boarder.” Added the president.


The president also appreciated Yemen’s offer and efforts to restore friendly relations between Eritrea and Sudan and said:

Regarding Sudan, and I don't want to take much of your time by talking about the Sudanese problems - Sudan is in dialogue with [Sudan People Liberation] Movement in the south in Kenyan town of Naivasha. There is also dialogue with the Darfur [rebels] which is expected to resume in Abuja Nigeria today, and we wish our Sudanese brothers all the best in resolving their internal problems and become part of this region as well as part of this cooperation and mechanism aimed at bringing about stability in this region”.


As to the Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan alliance, the president noted, “As I have confirmed to our brothers Eritrea's position on the regional relations as well as the tripartite relations between Yemen, Sudan and Ethiopia, we will never think or believe that the relation between these countries is an axis that targets Eritrea.

There could be some statements which are made by some officials in some countries such as Yemen and Ethiopia that this is an axis and that there is too much of unbridled imaginations in its treaties, but we have not reacted to such statements. And all our hopes were that any cooperation between countries in this region is a cooperation which serves the interests of the people and nations in this region and guarantees the stability of the region, and there is no need for us to be irritated by such agreements.


I would like to pay attribute to my brother President Ali Abdallah Salih's stand which made the tripartite meeting between Ethiopia, Yemen and Sudan not overstep the cooperation limit between this countries, and will not target any other side whether Eritrea or any other country in this region”.


The Eritrean president concluded his statement by expressing his confidence that the Yemeni president will convey the consensus reached between Eritrea and Yemen, “the Yemen Message”, to the “brothers” in Khartoum and Addis Ababa and wished him all success .