Ethiopia, Eritrea to meet in continuing peace efforts

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Religious leaders from Eritrea and Ethiopia plan to visit border areas and also meet for the first time in key towns of the two countries to promote peace and understanding following their border conflict that lasted more than two years.
As affirmed by Patriarch Paulos of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the decision was reached at a two-day meeting in Nairobi, Kenya last week by Christian and Muslim clerics from both countries.
Paulos told a news conference in Addis Ababa, Tuesday, that the religious leaders agreed to visit 19-21 May the Eritrea town of Senate and the Ethiopian border town of Zalambessa for a first-hand appraisal of the peace process being monitored by some 4,200 UN peacekeepers and observers.
The clerics also agreed at their 4-5 May meeting in Nairobi to hold a series of meetings for the first time in Ethiopia and Eritrea "aimed at facilitating the peace process and promoting renewed friendship and understanding," Paulos said.
To that end they plan to meet June ending in the eastern Ethiopian city of Dire Dawa and the southern Eritrean town of Adi Quala.
They are also scheduled to meet in Asmara and Addis Ababa in late August as part of their peace campaign started more than two years ago with the support of the Norwegian government and church.
Paulos said the initiative also has the support of the OAU, the UN and the government of the United States, which brokered both the June and December agreements between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

09 Maio 2001 09:47:00

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