Monday, December 05, 2005

Ethiopian Opposition Leader Says Talks with US Official Unsatisfactory

Ethiopia’s opposition leader Beyene Petros of the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces. (Reuters).
Sudan Tribune -- The chairman of the opposition United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF), Dr Beyene Petros, has said that it was impossible to say the meeting between the visiting deputy US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Donald Yamamoto, and opposition leaders was satisfactory.

Asked by The Reporter about the contents of the meeting, Dr Beyene replied:

"We have had discussions with Yamamoto, but he did not tell us what the US government wanted to do to defuse the political tensions in the country".

He further said "Yamamoto told us that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told him that it was too late to talk with the detained leaders of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy, and this what the EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front), ruling coalition has been telling us time and again."

"We told him what we think will be a solution to defuse the tensions in Ethiopia. We explained that we hope the tensions could calm down if all political prisoners and people detained in connection with the violence were freed, the killings were investigated by an independent body and all sides were brought to a roundtable for talks", Dr Beyene added.

The luncheon meeting held in the residence of a US diplomat on Wednesday 30 November was also attended by Merera Gudina, Bulcha Demeksa, Negaso Gidada and representatives of the EU and the British embassy.

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