Minister for Foreign Affairs in Ethiopian Talks
Minister in Kaliti Prison For Discussion With Opposition Leadership
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today for talks with Government and Opposition leaders.
Last evening the Minister held detailed discussions with the main Opposition leadership in Kaliti prison. This morning he has held further talks with Opposition representatives. Following elections in May 2005, leaders of the main Opposition Party, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), were imprisoned and are currently facing trial for treason and attempted genocide. Speaking this morning the Minister stated:
“The stand-off between Government and Opposition must be settled peacefully and through dialogue. Ireland will do all in its power to facilitate that dialogue”.
Ethiopia is also facing considerable and ongoing difficulties in its relations with Eritrea. An agreed and lasting peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea is crucial for the entire region.
This afternoon the Minister will meet the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi for two hours of discussions on these issues. He will also meet the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin.
“There is considerable interest in the Irish Peace Process here, on all sides. In that context I have undertaken to brief the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on the process of conflict resolution in Ireland and to outline possible parallels between our countries.”
The Minister will brief the media this evening, following his meeting with the Prime Minister.
6 July 2006, Press Office