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Ethiopia slams US congressman visit to Eritrea
Addis Ababa, 11 January 2008 - Ethiopian government has openly slammed the recent visit of US Congressman, Donald Payne, chairman of the House Africa subcommittee to Eritrea saying it comfirms his anti-Ethiopia stance.
Payne is the sponsor of the H.R. 2003 bill: Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 which will cut off technical assistance to Ethiopia unless it behaves in a more democratic manner.
The Ethiopian ministry of information in a statement issued today said Payne had "officially declared his partisanship with terrorism." Further, it criticised his call for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia.
Ethiopia said the US Congressman position vis-à-vis to Somalia means to bring terrorists to power by toppling down the Somali government that is recognized by the UN, AU and the whole international community.
In a meeting at the end of November 2007 with a visiting US Congress delegation led by Congressman Kendrick Meek, Prime Minister Meles said that the HR 2003 bill, which is endorsed by the US Congress, is "detrimental to the common interests of Ethiopia and the US."
Ethiopia also criticised Payne support for the Eritrean position on the border row between the two countries. Addis considered this position as another demonstration of his hostility towards Ethiopian government.
Payne has pledged during his visit to Asmara to lobby in Washington in order to convince US administration to pressurize Addis Ababa to accept the decisions of the border commission.
Ethiopia said it accepts the decision but requests further talks on the implementation, a matter that Asmara rejects.Source: Sudan Tribune