Ethiopia, Sudan back calls to include Eritrea in regional forum
Dec 27, 2004
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir have backed
calls by Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Salih to invite Eritrea to join the
Sanaa Forum for Cooperation, a regional grouping that brings together Sudan,
Yemen and Ethiopia, but made it conditional on the resolution of the
differences these two states have with Eritrea.
Speaking at a
news conference in Khartoum, broadcast live by Sudanese TV, Meles said the
forum was "incomplete" without Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.
the initiative taken by President Ali Abdallah Salih. We share with the
president of Yemen the view that this forum is incomplete unless the other
members of the family join it. We share with the president that the other
members of the family - Eritrea, Djibouti and so on - should join us, as soon
believe in order for them to do so, we have to resolve our problems - our
security and other problems with each other, through dialogue and brotherhood
and friendship. And we believe that President Ali Abdallah Salih's call for
dialogue is a timely and very constructive proposal. That is why both Ethiopia
and Sudan have accepted his new initiative," Meles said
a similar note and said regional cooperation was only possible if the current
tension in relations between the states in the region was resolved.
cooperation to become a reality, there is need for an infrastructure, that is
to say, security and stability. This means the removal of all the phenomenon of
tension between the states in the region, whether this tension is political, of
security or military nature. If the phenomenon of tension is removed, the way
is clear for the possibility of constructive cooperation, in the interest of
the people and nations of this region."
The Sanaa Forum
states began talks on Monday (27 December) in Khartoum to discuss the situation
in the region and ways of enhancing cooperation. It was also attended by the
new Somali president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad.
TV, Omdurman via BBC Monitoring Service, in Arabic 1520 gmt 27 Dec 04