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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU Officials Urge Eritrea Border Talks

ASMARA, Eritrea -- Senior European officials urged Eritrea on Monday to agree to meet a UN special envoy trying to solve a border row with Ethiopia.

Eritrea has so far resisted talks with the diplomat, saying it wanted the international community to do more to force neighboring Ethiopia to comply with an independent panel ruling on the disputed 1,000-kilometer frontier between them.

"We want to see the Ethiopian government accept the decision of the Boundary Commission, and secondly we also we want to see the special envoy interacting with the Eritrean government," said Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, leading a European Union delegation on a visit to the region.

The visitors had had "a very constructive engagement on that point" in talks with Eritrea's President Isayas Afewerki in Asmara, Cowen told a news conference.

The Horn of Africa neighbors fought a two-year war from 1998 in which 70,000 people were killed in combat reminiscent of the trench warfare of World War One.

The peace process has faltered since Ethiopia rejected the border inquiry's ruling just over a year ago that Badme, the small town that triggered the conflict, belonged to Eritrea.

The United Nations later appointed former Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy as a special envoy to try to break the stalemate, but Eritrea called his appointment illegal and an attempt to appease Ethiopia.