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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
Taken Question of December 17, 1993

1.  ETHIOPIA
Q.  Is the State Department doing anything to help gain the
release of several individuals detained on the way to a
conference in Ethiopia?

A.  WE UNDERSTAND THAT SEVEN PEOPLE IN ADDIS ABABA TO ATTEND A
"PEACE AND RECONCILIATION" CONFERENCE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED, TWO OF
WHOM HAVE BEEN RELEASED.

--THE U.S. EMBASSY IN ADDIS ABABA HAS PUBLICLY STATED THAT WHILE
THE U.S. DOES NOT SUPPORT THE POLITICAL AGENDA OF ANY GROUP,
WHETHER ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE OR NOT, WE BELIEVE THE
CONFERENCE COULD SERVE A CONSTRUCTIVE PURPOSE AND SHOULD BE
ALLOWED TO GO FORWARD.

--WE HAVE MADE CLEAR TO THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT OUR VIEW THAT
THE CONFERENCE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PROCEED WITHOUT HARASSMENT. 
WE PLAN FURTHER DIPLOMATIC CONTACTS WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF
ETHIOPIA.(###)