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British Government: Dialogue not a pre-requisite to initiating demarcation

posted 29 Jan 2012, 06:50 by D Woldeab
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to press the Government of Ethiopia to abide by the Independent Boundary Commission's ruling on the demarcation of the border with Eritrea. [71374]
Mr Bellingham: The UK Government continue to believe that the Ethiopia-Eritrea border must be demarcated in accordance with the ruling of the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission. We are concerned by the lack of progress, which has damaging consequences for Eritrea, Ethiopia and the stability of the wider region. The UK Government have encouraged both sides to engage in dialogue as we believe this could help to move beyond the status quo. We do not consider dialogue to be a pre-requisite to initiating the process of demarcation, however, and we have made clear to the Ethiopian Government the importance of taking practical steps to begin demarcation without further delay. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the right hon. Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), raised this issue with Prime Minister Meles when he visited Ethiopia in July, and with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hailemariam when they met in London in June.