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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ADDISABABA3864
2005-11-15 15:38:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

ETHIOPIA: STATE MINISTER VOICES CONCERN ON UNSC

Tags:   PREL  MARR  KPKO  PGOV  ET  ER  UNSC  EE  BORDER 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 003864 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF DAS YAMAMOTO, EREDDICK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/11/2015
TAGS: PREL MARR KPKO PGOV ET ER UNSC EE BORDER
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: STATE MINISTER VOICES CONCERN ON UNSC
RESOLUTION ON BORDER

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Vicki Huddleston for reasons 1.4(b) an
d (d)



1. (C) SUMMARY: State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tekeda
Alemu summoned the Charge Nov. 15 to pass a copy of a letter
from Minister of Foreign Affairs Seyoum Mesfin to UN Security
Council President Denisov on the Council's pending resolution
regarding the Ethio-Eritrean border. Tekeda argued that the
pending resolution does not further a solution to the border
crisis. He reiterated fears that Ethiopia would once again
be taken for granted as the Security Council moves to
"reward" Eritrea's bad behavior. The Charge said the U.S.
was working for a resolution that would not complicate the
efforts of an eventual envoy to find a solution and that
would allow UNMEE to work effectively; the U.S. was working
for balance. The Charge's discussion with Tekeda on internal
political issues is reported septel. END SUMMARY.



--------------------------

--
GOE: SQUEAKY WHEEL (ERITREA) GETTING THE GREASE


--------------------------

--



2. (C) On November 15, the Charge (accompanied by the A/PAO)
responded to a call from State Minister of Foreign Affairs
Tekeda Alemu. The State Minister provided the Charge with a
copy of a November 14 letter from Minister of Foreign Affairs
Seyoum Mesfin to Security Council President Denisov (text
emailed to DAS Yamamoto and USUN.) The letter, a follow-on
to an October 31 letter from the FM, decries the Security
Council's pending resolution on the border as a reward to
Eritrea for its violation of the Agreement on Cessation of
Hostilities. The letter argues that "Eritrea's move (to
restrict UNMEE's operations) was calculated to get the
Council to change the balanced approach it has been
following," and that "the draft resolution...leads to no
other conclusion." The letter reminds the UNSC that "the TSZ
is an area handed over to UNMEE by Ethiopian forces in the
interest of peace, and with the confidence that the
provisions of the cease-fire agreement would be respected
because it would be protected by the Security Council."



3. (C) The State Minister reviewed the contents of the
letter, saying that "all indications are that the Security
council is gravitating towards rewarding Isaias for his
sabre-rattling," thus "raising the ante." Tekeda called this
tendency "a source of great concern" for the GOE. He said
that the GOE feels it risks "being taken for granted, because
we are not hollering," and that it sees the repetition of a
cycle that took place in advance of and during the border
war, in which Ethiopian concerns were downplayed in favor of
Eritrea. He called for U.S. support, saying the resolution
would not advance the cause of peace. "Please help us avoid

another conflagration," Tekeda asked.



4. (C) The Charge responded that to her knowledge, the most
recent version of the draft resolution used language that had
been in play since September, and that it had been shown to
the Ethiopian embassy in Washington and had passed muster
there. She volunteered to provide the State Minister with
her most recent working draft, to ensure that the GOE was
responding to current language. The State Minister said that
if the wording as it now stands had not been problematic, the
FM would not have written, but accepted her offer regarding
the draft. "We are worried," he added.



--------------------------


Once Burned, Twice Shy


--------------------------





5. (C) Turning to the larger border issue, the Charge said
that factors such as troop movements on both sides and
Eritrea's refusal of a UN envoy are indeed worrying. She
wondered whether, despite the GOE's well known stance on the
need for dialogue prior to demarcation, it was not time for a
new approach, one that more clearly and unreservedly
enunciates Ethiopia's acceptance of the findings of the
Border Commission. If Eritrea knew that Ethiopia was
prepared to start demarcation along EEBC lines, it might
facilitate the opening of the dialogue that PM Meles wanted.



6. (C) The State Minister responded that the Five-Point
Plan Ethiopia put forward in late 2004 was "not an Ethiopian
creation." He attributed its contents, and especially the
caveat that Ethiopia accepted EEBC findings "in principle,"
to "mutual friends." When pressed, he mentioned the British
and unnamed "American Congressmen." He said that Ethiopia
was told then that the Five-Point Plan would ease tensions
and improve Ethiopia's image, but it did not; instead, it
gave the impression that Ethiopia was "hedging" on its
acceptance of the Commission's findings. He said that in
1999, the U.S. and the international community did not act
decisively enough to hold Eritrea to statements that it would
pull out of Badme. He reiterated fears that Ethiopia would
once again be taken for granted as the Security Council moves
to "reward" Eritrea's bad behavior.



7. (C) The Charge said the U.S. was working for a
resolution that would not complicate the efforts of an
eventual envoy to find a solution and that would allow UNMEE
to work effectively; she added that the language she
understood to be under consideration was not intended to
favor Eritrea, and that the U.S. was working for balance.
The State Minister's response: "But are you sure about your
New York mission?" She answered that, while the current
language might not be wholly to Ethiopia's liking, it was far
better than drafts seen since September.
HUDDLESTON