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USIS Washington 
File

08 February 1999

TEXT: U.S. CALLS FOR RESTRAINT IN ETHIOPIAN-ERITREAN CONFLICT

(2/5 State Department statement) (340)
WASHINGTON -- Following a statement by Ethiopia that Eritrea had
bombed a northern Ethiopian town -- which Eritrea denied -- the U.S.
government February 5 welcomed assurances from both sides that they
are committed to an air strike moratorium and called on both parties
to exercise restraint.
"The U.S. urges both sides to exercise the utmost restraint and take
no action that could increase tensions or provoke widespread
hostilities," State Department Spokesman James Rubin said in a written
statement released by his office. "We continue to believe that the
parties can and must resolve this dispute through peaceful means as
outlined in the OAU Framework Agreement."
Following is the text of Rubin's statement:
(BEGIN TEXT)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
February 5, 1999
STATEMENT BY JAMES P. RUBIN, SPOKESMAN
ETHIOPIAN/ERITREAN CONFLICT
The Government of Ethiopia has stated that the Government of Eritrea
has bombed the northern Ethiopian town of Adigrat. The Government of
Eritrea denies the charge.
At present, we have no independent evidence to confirm that such a
strike took place. We are seeking additional information.
The Eritrean government has reiterated that they will not initiate
hostilities and affirmed their commitment to the air strike
moratorium. The Ethiopian Government has repeatedly assured us of
their continuing commitment to the air strike moratorium. We welcome
these assurances from both governments.
The U.S. urges both sides to exercise the utmost restraint and take no
action that could increase tensions or provoke widespread hostilities.
We continue to believe that the parties can and must resolve this
dispute through peaceful means as outlined in the OAU Framework
Agreement.
The humanitarian and human rights consequences of this dispute will
grow if it escalates into full-scale fighting. That is why we continue
to do our utmost to help both parties find a peaceful resolution to
the dispute and are calling on both parties to exercise restraint
today.
(END TEXT)




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