Statement by the Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers
By: Shabait Staff
December 17, 2003

In its meeting of 16 December 2003, the Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers conducted in- depth deliberations on the border demarcation process and the prevailing dangerous circumstances regarding its implementation. Moreover, the Ministerial Cabinet assessed the diplomatic campaign that Eritrea has so far undertaken in this regard.

The Cabinet of Ministers took note of the fact that although the implementation of the Boundary Commissionís ruling of 13April 2002 on border demarcation, which provided a legal conclusion to the war unleashed against Eritrea by the TPLF regime in 1998 and the regional crisis it subsequently created was scheduled to be finalized by last November, the demarcation process is presently undergoing a new crisis due to the TPLF regimeís non- compliance with the Commissionís verdict and its violation of the rule of law.

The Cabinet of Ministers went on to underscore that the TPLF regimeís rejection of the Boundary Commissionís final and binding ruling which it had previously signed constitutes a threat to regional peace and stability, undermining the rule of law in the world, as well as the fundamental norms of international law.

The Cabinet assessed that the main reason encouraging the TPLF regime to reject the peace accord is the failure of the international community, particularly the drafters and guarantors of the Algiers Peace Agreement and the body responsible for taking strict measures and applying sanctions over the violator of the peace accord in bringing sufficient pressure to bear on the violating party, is encouraging the TPLF regime to reject and push the peace process to disaster.

The Cabinet of Ministers underlined that the regime which previously refused dialogue with Eritrea under the pretext of Ďno negotiations until the system in Asmara is changedí is now arrogantly playing a new diplomatic game of so- called open ended dialogue that ultimately dismantles the core of the peace verdict.

Further underlining that dialogue can never be a substitute for the implementation of the Eritrean- Ethiopian Boundary Commissionís ruling and safeguarding national sovereignty, the Cabinet stressed that if the issue at hand is that of holding negations on relations between the two countries, the natural phenomenon of confidence-building and strengthen economic ties, this could take place only after the implementation of the Boundary Commissionís ruling and the safeguarding of national sovereignty.

The Cabinet of Ministers further reminded the international community, especially the drafters and guarantors of the final and binding peace agreement, not to commit another historic inexcusable error over the Eritrean people by failing to assume their full responsibility.

The Ministerial Cabinet also emphasized that the guarantors of peace, especially the UN Security Council, have mandatory historic obligations to apply appropriate measures over the violating regime that is constantly abusing international law and charter principles without any political and legal justification whatsoever.

Concluding its one- day meeting, the Cabinet of Ministers commended the Eritrean people for the resolute manner in which they are carrying out development programs and their readiness to cope with any eventualities that may result from the continued hostile policies of the Ethiopian regime.

The Cabinet decided that diplomatic efforts for achieving a peaceful and legal solution to the crisis will continue.

The Cabinet of Ministers
Asmara, 16 December 2003.