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Saturday, 13 January, 2001, 01:58 GMT
Ethiopia and Somalia in diplomatic row

Ethiopia has denied accusations that it is working to create a breakaway state in Somalia.

The new Somali Prime Minister, Ali Khalif Galaid, said Ethiopian soldiers had occupied towns in its southwestern region, and had detained and intimidated its nationals.

Mr Galaid, who was speaking in New York, said Ethiopia was arming groups opposed to the new Somali government.

But the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin, has vehemently denied the charges.

In a letter to the United Nations, he said Ethiopia had done a lot to help Somalia achieve national reconciliation. He said the allegations were made out of desperation, because Somalia had failed to convince all the groups in the country to recognise the transitional government adopted in Djibouti.

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