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Tuesday, 3 October, 2000, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Eritrea to hold elections
Asmara
Support for the government in Asmara remains strong
Eritrea has acknowedged that it cannot delay general elections indefinitely despite continuing tension with Ethiopia over its border dispute.

The National Assembly has said that elections will take place by the end of next year.

A BBC correspondent in Asmara says there is popular support for the current political leadership, which steered the country to independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after 30 years of armed struggle.

However, our correspondent says many people have recently been demanding reforms and say the timescale for the elections is still too long.

eritrean_foreign_minister_
Haile Woldensei: Moved to trade and industry
Elections were supposed to have been held in 1998, but were cancelled when the conflict with Ethiopia began.

The National Assembly has also ratified the change of Eritrea's foreign minister.

Haile Woldense will swap jobs with Trade and Industry Minister Ali Said Abdella.

The new foreign minister is known to have played an important role in strengthening the country's ties with the Arab states.

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See also:

11 Jul 00 | Africa
UN 'success' in Eritrea mission
30 Jun 00 | Africa
Eritrea, Ethiopia to resume talks
12 Jun 00 | Africa
Ethiopia-Eritrea peace plan
12 May 00 | Battle in the Horn
Border a geographer's nightmare
14 Sep 00 | Africa
UN observers arrive in the Horn
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