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Ethiopia: Eritrea

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the Answer of 20 October 2008, Official Report, columns 96-7W, on Ethiopia: Eritrea, on how many occasions in the last 12 months (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have raised the issue of the binding verdict of the International Ethiopian Eritrean Boundary Commission with the Ethiopian authorities. (253333)

UK Ministers have consistently said to the Ethiopian authorities that both parties should: avoid any return to war; demarcate the border; and normalise their relations. Ethiopia and Eritrea should agree a way forward to allow demarcation to proceed and for a normalisation process to begin, as set out in the Algiers Agreements of June and December 2000, to which both Ethiopia and Eritrea are signatories.

In the last 12 months, we have raised this issue on four occasions at ministerial level.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials also continually reiterate these messages with their Ethiopian counterparts in Addis Ababa, London and New York.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects Ethiopia to dismantle its settlements in Dembe Menga, western Eritrea in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1430 of August 2002. (253334)

We would expect representations regarding settlements believed to be on land awarded to the other party under the Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission decision to form part of any demarcation process and normalisation of relations.

We will continue to communicate the UK’s policy to both parties including through the United Nations.