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ERITREA - July 7 - Technical Talks End In US.

The state department says Ethiopian and Eritrean technical experts ended 4 days of talks in Washington to resolve differences set aside when the warring parties signed a ceasefire on June 18. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says both sides had met face-to-face on several occasions during the talks, held at the State Department, and had spent the rest of the time in "proximity" discussions. Boucher says: "They adjourned, having accomplished what they could, and now they go on to the OAU summit and more discussions with the OAU". He describes the talks, followed closely by senior US officials, as "constructive" and says the US would discuss what steps should be taken next with the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) at its summit in the Togolese capital Lome during next week. Boucher says: "We think the talks clarified both sides' positions and priorities regarding these compensation boundary issues and that they helped to facilitate the OAU's efforts as it works for a comprehensive peace agreement", adding: "We thought these talks were useful". The talks were aimed at helping to resolve issues not dealt with when both sides signed a peace agreement under the auspices of the OAU in Algeria. (The ceasefire was aimed at ending a border conflict that began in May 1998. Thousands of soldiers are believed to have died in the border war. The warring sides signed a deal calling for an immediate ceasefire and the deployment of UN peacekeepers in a 25-km buffer zone between the 2 armies. Among issues left undecided were the demarcation of the 1,000-km border, which was left undefined when Eritrea won independence from Ethiopia in 1993, and compensating civilian victims, a subject raised by Ethiopia. Other issues include whether Eritrea should reduce the size of its army and the repatriation of Ethiopian nationals detained inside Eritrea.)
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:6ERIT
Date:Jul 8, 2000
Words:304
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