Ethiopian Deputy FM Alemu Visits Israel

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
27 July 1998

Ethiopian Deputy Foreign Minister Takeda Alemu, representing Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, arrived in Israel on Sunday, 27.7.98, with a letter for Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Deputy Minister Alemu delivered the letter to Foreign Ministry Director-General Eytan Bentsur at their meeting, during which they discussed Ethiopia’s border war with Eritrea. Mr. Alemu told Mr. Bentsur that the Ethiopian government wishes to prevent war in the Horn of Africa, but that its appeal to Eritrea to withdraw from the territory it invaded has gone unanswered. In addition, mediation efforts by the United States, African countries and the Organization of African Unity have not born fruit. Mr. Alemu requested Israel’s assistance in resolving the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, in order to prevent the outbreak of war and to enable the two countries to open negotiations on all their unresolved problems, including the border dispute.

Mr. Bentsur said that Israel is concerned by the continuing conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, two countries with which Israel has excellent relations. He expressed hope that the negotiations between the two countries would be renewed at the earliest opportunity and that they would arrive at a peaceful solution.