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tember 1977 broke off diplomatic relations (under the chairmanship of Nigeria), which with the SDR.
met in session in Libreville (Gabon) in AuDuring the armed conflict, the PMAC gust 1977, refused to accept the Front for expressed readiness to settle the conflict the Liberation of Western Somalia as a napeacefully within the framework of the tional-liberation movernment, (and) called OAU, putting forth as an absolute condition on the governments of both countries to stop the beginning of negotiations with the So- hostile actions and to settle their disagreemalis on the withdrawal of their forces from ments by peaceful means, on the basis of Ethiopian territory. Simultaneously the the principle of the inviolability of the borEthiopian leaders declared many times in ders of African countries. In a resolution public speeches that Ethiopia did not intend, accepted by the the committee there was after the liberation of the Ogaden territory, contained a call on everyone, particulary to carry military actions beyond the limits non-African countries, to refrain from inof their own borders.
terference in the conflict. After the destruction of the Somali Efforts which have until now been untroops, the Ethiopia MFA asserted in its dec- dertaken by several African countries and laration on 12 March of this year the aspira- the OAU to mediate an end to the conflict tion of the Ethiopian government to estab- have not led to any positive results in view lish peace and stability on the African Horn of the contradictory positions taken by the in accord with the Charters and decisions sides. of the U.N. and the OAU, on the basis of Over the course of the conflict, the reobservation of the principles of non-use of actionary Muslim regimes have taken a poforce as a means of solving international sition in support of Somalia. However, acarguments, and non-interference in the do- cording to information which we have, at mestic affairs of other states. In the decla- the time of the conduct of military actions ration it was further pointed out that the es- in the Ogaden, President Siad was not suctablishment of peace on the African Horn is cessful in getting their agreement to send possible only in the event of Somali retrac- their forces to that region, although Saudi tion of its claims for part of the territory of Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Egypt did coEthiopia and Kenya, and also Djibouti, [and] vertly send arms to Somalia. observation by it of international agree- On the other hand, such Arab countries ments. In it are rejected the attempts of the as the PDRY, Algeria, and, to an extent, USA government and its allies to tie the Libya, provided support to Ethiopia. In this withdrawal of Somali forces to a resolution regard the PDRY sent weapons and military of issues which fall under the sovereignty personnel to Ethiopia. of Ethiopia (the presence on its territory of Over the course of the conflict, Sudan's foreign military personnel invited there by position underwent change. For a variety the Ethiopian government, the proposal to of reasons it refused to take an extreme antisend foreign observors to the Ogaden). Ethiopian course.
Regarding Somalia's demand that the Leading Western countries, while verpopulation of the Ogaden be presented with bally supporting a political settlement to the the right of self-determination, the Ethio- Somalia-Ethiopia conflict and stressing their pian leadership declares that a resolution of own neutrality, in fact have tried to use the that issue is a domestic affair of Ethiopia conflict to undermine the revolutionary reand that therefore it cannot be a condition gime in Ethiopia and to rout the progresfor a settlement of the Somalia-Ethiopia sive forces in Somalia, and also to weaken conflict. The Ethiopian side also raises the the presence of the USSR in that region of issue of compensation from Somalia for the the world. In fact, the Westerners have conlosses caused by the military actions in the ducted a policy of veiled assistance to SoOgaden.
malia. Nonetheless, for a variety of reasons Somalia's position in the conflict with they have not set out to provide Somalia with Ethiopia does not meet, as a rule, with sup- direct military assistance. Primarily they did port from the members of the OAU, who not want to decisively push Ethiopia away support the preservation of existing state from them, counting on reestablishing their borders in Africa.
positions here in the future. They also could The special committee of the OAU for not but take into account that the actions of settlement of Somalia-Ethiopia relations Somalia had not met with support from Af
rican states, but (in fact] Kenya, which has tight contacts with the West, sharply condemned them.
At the present time, from the side of the Westerners, particularly the USA, efforts are being undertaken to take into their own hands the initiative for a settlement of the
a conflict in the interests of strengthening their own positions on the African Horn. Under conditions of the occupation of the Ogaden by Somali forces they put forth proposals for a quick beginning to negotiations, so that the Somali side could speak at them from a position of strength. Another of their ideas which they put forth was to pass consideration of the issue of the conflict to the UN Security Council, where the Westerners counted on putting pressure on Ethiopia.
The decision of the SDR to withdraw Somali forces from the Ogaden was quickly used by the USA leadership for a declaration about the need for the quick withdrawal from Ethiopia of Soviet and Cuban military personnel. The Western powers also spoke in favor of the idea of sending to the Ogaden foreign “neutral observers” to supervise the withdrawal of troops from that regions and to ensure the security of its population.
The Chinese leadership has expressed itself from an anti-Soviet position in relation to the conflict, trying to heap all the responsibility for the ongoing events on the Soviet Union. While not openly expressing its attitude to the conflict, at the same time it has essentially supported the position of Somalia. There is information that the PRC has delivered small arms to Somalia.
The countries of the socialist commonwealth have in relation to the conflict taken a position of censuring the aggressive actions of Somalia and providing Ethiopia with internationalist assistance and support.
Cuba acted particularly actively in this direction, sending, in response to a request from the government of Ethiopia and as officially announced by F. Castro on 16 March of this year, its own tank operators, artillery specialists, pilots, and also sub-units of mechanized infantry, to provide assistance to the armed forces of that country while the Ogaden was under conditions of occupation by Somali forces. During the Ethiopian counter-attack, Cuban solders were used in the main lines of attack. he Son Union and Cuba are in constant contact aimed at coordination of their actions in
support of the Ethiopian revolution. pian regime. During the conflict, supple
The attitude of the Soviet Union toward mentary, urgent measures were undertaken the Somali-Ethiopia conflict is determined to strengthen the defense capability of Ethioby the fact that that conflict contradicts the pia, which had become a victim of aggresinterests of progressive forces in that region, sion. We brought deliveries of combat maand creates a danger of turning the African teriel, weapons, and ammunition to SomaHorn into a hotbed of serious international lia to a halt. After the Somali side undertension.
took unfriendly actions in November 1977, After the outbreak of armed conflict on the Soviet Union stopped economic and the African Horn, the Soviet Union came trade cooperation and ended military coopout in favor of its quick cessation, for the eration with Somalia. peaceful settlement of relations between So- In the beginning of March of this year malia and Ethiopia by means of negotiations President Said appealed to the Soviet Union on the basis of mutual respect by the sides with a request to provide mediatory services of sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviola- to settle the Somali-Ethiopia conflict and bility of borders and non-interference in expressed readiness to establish friendly each other's domestic affairs, noting that an relations between Somalia and the USSR. absolute condition of such a settlement must From our side agreement was given to be a cessation of military actions and a quick implement mediatory efforts if the leaderand unconditional withdrawal of Somali ship of Ethiopia would view that favorably forces from the territory of Ethiopia, and that and in the event that Somalia took a realisotherwise a situation analagous to the one tic position on a settlement of the conflict. in the Middle East might arise on the Afri- In this regard Siad's attention was drawn to can Horn.
the fact that the various preconditions put Our principled line in relation to the forth by the Somali side (giving self-detersituation on the Horn of Africa was precisely mination to the population of Ogaden) only expressed in the speeches of comrades L.I. delay the possibility of holding negotiations Brezhnev of 28 September 1977 on the oc- to bring an end to the conflict, insofar as casion of the visit to the USSR of the Presi- they cannot be acceptable to any sovereign dent of the People's Republic of Angola A. state and complicate the realization by us Neto, and A.N. Kosygin of 12 January 1978 of mediatory efforts. on the occasion of the visit to the USSR of As far as the establishment of friendly the President of the APDR [Algerian relations with Somalia is concerned, from People's Democratic Republic) H. our side there was expressed readiness for Boumedienne, and also in the TASS Decla- that in principle and under the clear underration of 18 January 1978.
standing of the fact that Somalia will take The Soviet Union spoke out against specific steps to establish a genuine peace efforts of the Western states to submit the on the African Horn. issue of the situation on the African Horn In response to our information about for consideration by the UN Security Coun- Siad's proposal, the Ethiopian government, cil, which they could use in particular to having expressed doubt about the sincerity unleash a hostile campaign against the of the intentions of the Somali leadership, USSR and Cuba. At the same time the So- at the same time expressed readiness to beviet Union believes that the Organization of gin negotiations with Somalia in Moscow African Unity should continue its efforts to with the participation of the Soviet Union, provide assistance on a settlement of the So- on the condition that the Somali represenmali-Ethiopia conflict, insofar as it has not tatives are prepared to declare in due course exhaused its possibilities in this area. the rejection of their anti-Ethiopian, anti
The position of the Soviet Union to- Soviet, and anti-Cuban positions; to declare wards the Somali-Ethiopia conflict has respect for the territorial integrity of Ethiomany times been brought to the attention of pia and to give agreement to the demarcathe leadership of progressive African and tion of the Ethiopia-Somalia border on the Arab states, and also to a range of Western basis of existing international agreements; powers.
to stop their support of underground moveThe Soviet Union consistently follows ments directed against the territorial intega firm line in providing the utmost assis- rity and unity of Ethiopia; and lastly, in some tance and support to the revolutionary Ethio- way or another to inform public opinion of
their own country and world public opinion about Somalia's new position.
So far the Somali leadership rejects these proposals and continues to insist on its own conditions.
The outcome of the war in the Ogaden essentially was reflected in the domestic political situation of its participants. The situation in Somalia was sharply exacerbated. On the grounds of a worsening of the economic situation and a decline in the standard of living, dissatisfaction with the current leadership grew among various strata of the population, including the army. This dissatisfaction, which has assumed open forms, is being suppressed by Said with the help of executions and repressions. In Ethiopia the military victory facilitated, on the one hand, the consolidation of the patriotic, progressive forces, and the strengthening of the position of Mengistu and his supporters, and, on the other hand, enlivened nationalistic elements, including in the leadership of the country, which are putting forth the idea that the Somali threat should be “done away with” once and for all.
Overall, the situation on the African Horn remains complex and tense. The cessation of military actions on the ground has not yet been ratified in any way, and the continuing Somali claims to the Ogaden, and [to) part of the territory of Kenya and the Republic of Djibouti, create a situation fraught with the outbreak of a new armed confrontation. Such a situation creates an opportunity for maneuvers of imperialist and reactionary Arab circles in this region of Africa, and therefore the establishment there of peace and the achievement of an agreement between Somalia and Ethiopia on stopping the conflict corresponds to our interests.
Third African Department
(Source: TsKHSD, f. 5, op. 75, d. 1175, II. 13-23; translated by Mark Doctoroff.]
SED Archives, Memorandum on Soviet
Ethiopian Conflict, 4 April 1978
The Soviet Ambassador in Tripoli received instruction to communicate the following to [Libyan Prime Minister Abdul
The proposals of the Libyan leadership on the settlement of the Somali-Ethiopian conflict have been carefully examined in Moscow. We have communicated to the Ethiopians the recent Libyan desire to receive in Tripoli the chairman of the Provisional Military Administrative Council (PMAC), based on the fact that only the Ethiopian side itself can make a decisions in this respect. The Ethiopian side had previously communicated to us that Mengistu could not come to Libya at the end of February for negotiations with Siad Barre, for reasons which the PMAC chairman told you personally.
The Libyan side is aware of the Soviet position with respect to the procedure for a political settlement in the area of the Horn of Africa. We have fully explained our point of view during your recent visit to Moscow. There is only one just basis for the settlement of the conflict - this is the mutual respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in domestic matters of the other side. All attempts to achieve a political settlement on any other basis were bound to destabilize such a solution and burden it with new difficulties.
The withdrawal of Somali troops from the Ogaden is only a step in the right direction, conditioned by the existing situation. The conditions for a settlement as officially announced by the Somali leadership, in our opinion, only served to postpone the start of negotiations. These conditions, as is known, touch upon the sovereign rights of Ethiopia and upon problems which lie in its domestic realm. The solution of the national question in the Ogaden belongs to this.
One cannot disregard the fact that the USA and other Western powers, which verbally favor a settlement of the conflict at the Horn of Africa, in fact seek to make such a settlement more difficult in order to strengthen their position in this area.
In our opinion the main task now is to put the settlement of the conflict at the Horn of Africa on the tracks of peaceful negotiations. The solution of this problem can not depend on whether Ethiopia and Somalia can achieve agreement on all other problems in their relationship. It is now especially important to influence the Somali leadership to assume a constructive position and to avoid giving the imperialist and other reactionary forces the opportunity to exploit
Somalia for their designs.
posals for a peaceful and political solution With respect to the situation in Eritrea, although Comrade Werner Lamberz had the Soviet Union has viewed and still views agreed with Mengistu Haile Mariam on this in conformity with the UN and OAU working papers in December 1977. resolutions as an internal Ethiopian matter. The attitude of the representatives of We favor a political solution of this ques- the Eritrean Liberation Movement illustion by negotiations between the central gov- trated, on the other hand that, under the presernment and the Eritrean organizations. It sure by the leadership of the Sudan and the is our strong conviction that the current at- Arab reaction, there has been a strengthentitude of the Eritrean organizations which ing of nationalist, openly separatist forces favor the separation of Eritrea from Ethio- within the Eritrean movements, especially pia contradicts the interests of the Ethiopian by means of the coordination between the Revolution and the progressive forces in this Eritrean People's Liberation Front and the area and is only of advantage to the imperi- Eritrean Liberation Front (Revolutionary alists and the reaction.
Council). Libya and other progressive Arab states The leader of the Eritrean People's Libcan use their authority and influence to con- eration Front, Aforki, presented the demand vince the Eritrean organizations to terminate for a separate Eritrean state in even harsher the fighting and go the way of a peaceful terms. Only after long sharp discussion was solution of the Eritrean problem in the he willing to agree to this second meeting framework of a unified Ethiopian state. and to the further examination of the pro
posals made by the SED. Thus it was pos(Source: SAPMO-BArch, DY30 IV 2/2.0351 sible to hold the second meeting. In the 127; document obtained and translated by course of the meeting, the representatives Christian F. Ostermann.]
of the Ethiopian leadership and the EPLF
reiterated their known positions. They acSED official Hermann Axen to E. cepted the SED proposal - this proposal was, Honecker, 18 April 1978, enclosing as is well known, agreed to by the CC of
Draft Letter from Honecker to the CPSU - to put the following four points Brezhnev on Ethiopian-Eritrean Talks, before the Provisional Military Administra19 April 1978
tive Council and the Central Committee of
the EPLF as recommendations for a settleEnclosure: Honecker to Brezhnev, 19 ment: April 1978
1. Both sides confirm their resolve to Esteemed Comrade Leonid Ilyich stop the bloodshed immediately and bring Brezhnev!
about a political solution. On 23 March 1978, the second meet- 2. The Provisional Military Adminising between the representatives to the Pro- trative Council of Ethiopia will make a pubvisional Military Administrative Council of lic declaration expressing its concrete proSocialist Ethiopia and the Eritrean Libera- posals for the implementation of regional tion Front took place. Upon request by the autonomy for Eritrea in the framework of Politburo of the CC of the SED, Comrade the Ethiopian state and under inclusion of Hermann Axen, member of the Politburo all willing positive forces in Eritrea. and CC secretary, participated in the talks. The Central Committee of the EPLF
[Berhanu Bayeh and Aforki declared recognizes the achievements of the Ethioagain their desire to terminate the bloodshed pian Revolution and declares itself ready for and to do everything to solve the Eritrean cooperation in the interest of implementaproblem by peaceful means.]
tion of regional autonomy. Despite this declaration made by both 3. Revolutionary Ethiopia's secure acnegotiators, the political negotiations cess to the Red Sea must be guaranteed by showed that the positions on both sides had its uninterrupted access lines and its conbecome stiffer.
trol over Asmara and the ports of Massawa The representative of the Provisional and Assab. Military Administrative Council was in- 4. Both sides form a common commisclined to favor a predominantly military sion for the purpose of implementing the solution of the Eritrean problem. They did above points and all other steps for the senot make any concrete or constructive pro- curity of the Revolution in Ethiopia and re
gional autonomy in Eritrea.
It was agreed to inform the leadership organizations of Ethiopia and of the EPLF and have them communicate their positions on the results of the second meeting and the proposals of the SED at a third meeting in the GDR in mid-May.
Thus the second meeting undermined all attempts by the representatives of the EPLF to break off all political contacts and negotiations with the Provisional Military Administrative Council of Ethiopia (as they had previously intended to do).
But the situation involves the acute danger that the fighting over Eritrea will escalate and that the Arab reaction and the imperialists will intervene even further and attempt to internationalize the conflict. This would severely endanger the revolutionary developments in Ethiopia.
The Politburo of the CC of the SED is of the opinion that everything has to be done to achieve a political solution of the Eritrean question. The safeguarding of the revolutionary process in Ethiopia and its territorial as well as political integrity is a necessary precondition for this. The Provisional Military Administrative Council must doubtless have reliable control over its free access to the Red Sea. This, however, must be safeguarded by political and military means. It is our impression following the recent meeting that the Provisional Military Administrative Council is only oriented towards the military tasks in this matter and, despite repeated verbal assurances, has not made any concrete political steps in winning over the Eritrean population for the implementation of regional autonomy.
We therefore think that the Provisional Military Administrative Council should without further delay address an appeal to all willing forces in Eritrea for the peaceful political solution of the Eritrean problem. It would have to render more precisely the proposals it has made so far by concrete suggestions on the implementation of the right for self-determination of the different nations within Ethiopia in order to speed up the process of differentiation within the Eritrean population and to isolate the reactionary, separatist forces in Eritrea.
Based on the results of the last meeting, the Politburo of our Party proposes therefore that the Soviet comrades, junction with representatives of our Party, work out internally possible solutions to the
regional autonomy of Eritrea in the frame- The CPSU also works in this direction. work of the Ethiopian state in order to com- It agreed to receive an ELF-RC delegation municate them at the appropriate time to the led by Ahmed Mohammed Nasser at the Chairman of the Provisional Military Ad- level of the USSR Solidarity Committee on ministrative Council, Mengistu Haile a confidential internal basis around 20 May Mariam.
1978. We will use these contacts in order to (Closing remarks]
induce the representatives of the ELF-RC
to have direct contact with the Provisional (Source: SAPMO-BArch, DY30 IV 2/2.035/ Military Administrative Council. The objec127; document obtained and translated by tive is to find an appropriate solution for Christian F. Ostermann.]
Eritrea within the framework of the Ethio
pian state. We do not have the intention to Memorandum of Conversation between hide from Ahmed Nasser our policy toward (SED) Comrade Friedel Trappen and a unified Ethiopia. The policy of the CPSU Soviet Comrade R. A. Ulyanovsky in is aimed at the unity of Ethiopia. We will the CC of the CPSU, 11 May 1978 try to convince Ahmed Nasser that the fu
ture development of the Eritrean people can [Other participants]
only evolve in a unified Ethiopian state. In Ulyanovsky:
the discussions we will continue to pursue As Comrade B.N. Ponomarev has al- the line of emphasizing the unity between ready pointed out in the last conversation the Marxist-Leninist forces and nationalwith the comrades of the SED, the CC of democratic forces in Ethiopia and Eritrea. the CPSU considers the talks of the SED We would like to stress that we have with the Eritrean movements and the Ethio- to be extremely tactful in our relations with
very useful and positive. We can Mengistu Haile Mariam and the PMAC, in still say this today. On this basis one should particular with respect to the Eritrean quesapproach the next meeting in June as well tion. as other meetings. We consider the four Mengistu Haile Mariam does not have points agreed on at the last meeting as posi- an easy stand within the PMAC in this retive. If both sides really take the four points gard. In connection with the well-known Dr. as a starting point, this would be positive Negede (Gobeze] affair tensions have
a for further development. We are of the opin- heightened within the PMAC and this has ion that the following main points should not made Mengistu's task any easier. be emphasized:
We would like to emphasize that all a) The political solution of the prob- concrete initiatives on the Eritrean questions lem and an end to the bloodshed.
have to originate from Ethiopia. This does b) The granting of regional autonomy not mean that the Eritrean side is free of any for Eritrea, but, however, no separate na- initiatives. If we put the entire weight on tional independence.
the Mengistu Haile Mariam's shoulders and c) The unconditional use of Ethiopia's free Ahmed Nasser or respectively Aforki communications with the ports on the Red of any responsibility, this would be oneSea.
sided. The Ethiopian side is watching with d) The increased unification of the pro- great jealousy the actions of the CPSU and gressive forces on both sides.
the SED. Here as well one has to see the This would be a deeply satisfying plat- connection between Mengistu Haile form which could be developed further. Mariam's position and the people around
The points agreed upon in the March him. Mengistu Haile Mariam deserves to be meeting are contained in these proposals and regarded by us as a man who represents inhence could be developed further at the June ternationalist positions. By contrast to him, meeting. This would create a real founda- Berhanu Bayeh and Fikre Selassie as well tion for the rapprochement of both sides. The as Legesse Asfaw and others, for example, main question is, how honestly, how genu- are marked by nationalism although they are inely, and how deeply both sides will com- faithful to Mengistu Haile Mariam. ply with these points. If one could say to- All steps and initiatives on the part of day that the four points are fulfilled by both the CPSU, the CP Cuba, and the SED must sides or will soon be fulfilled, this would be be put forward extremely tactfully and carea great relief for us.
fully not to cause any protests. Frankly, the
problem lies to a certain degree in the fact great, and huge task to get the people of that we all attempt to square the circle. The Eritrea on the side of the Ethiopian Revoluone side of the problem is - and we are both tion. Preparations have been made but no working on this - to solve the problem on concrete steps and measures. The Soviet an internationalist basis. On the other hand comrades have told Mengistu Haile Mariam there are efforts to solve it on a nationalist and Legesse that it was now important to basis. This is precisely why, I emphasize show the Eritrean people that the PMAC is again, we have to apply maximum caution, not identical with the regime of Emperor circumspection, and tactfulness towards Haile Selassi and the interests of the EthioMengistu Haile Mariam so that the nation- pian Revolution are in harmony with the alists will not grasp him by the throat. interests of the progressive forces in Eritrea.
In our contacts and talks with Ahmed Unfortunately, forces in the PMAC and Nasser we intend to make it unmistakably Mengistu Haile Mariam himself have clear to him that it is necessary that all revo
caused a slow-down of this necessary polutionary forces join together and that the litical work towards the people of Eritrea. Eritrean problem is not only a national but Mengistu Haile Mariam is passive. above all a class problem which has to be We completely agree with the estimate solved by the common fight against the im- that military actions for the solution of the perialists and the Arab reaction.
Eritrean question alone are pointless and, Efforts to split up Ethiopia and create moreover, dangerous. They would widen the a separate Eritrean state, to refuse to give gap between the Eritrean people and the Ethiopia access to the ports on the Red Sea, Ethiopian Revolution and create new intento drive the Soviet Union and the other So- sified hatred. This does not mean that the cialist countries out of this region, are not PMAC should completely abandon military simply a national problem but a problem of activities. We think that it is necessary to international class warfare, not to speak of exert military pressure on the Eritrean sepathe fact that such a separate state would be ratists forces. This especially since in regard manipulated by the Sudan and Saudi Arabia to military matters the current situation in and their petrol dollars.
Eritrea is not favorable for the PMAC. It is We will therefore point out to Ahmed therefore necessary to talk but at the same Nasser, who claims to be a Marxist, the na- time to act militarily on the part of the tional and international dimension of the PMAC. This applies in particular to the safeEritrean problem.
guarding of important military strategic poConcerning the questions put forward sitions and especially of the communicaby Comrade Trappen I would like to add tions with the ports of Massawa and Assab the following consideration:
well as the capital Asmara, the cities The basic difficulty is the fact that sepa- Akordat, Keren, and Barentu. These miliratist ideas have been rooted in Eritrea for a tary actions have to serve political measures. long time. These ideas are very popular It was emphasized in the talk between among the population, especially among the Comrade L.I. Brezhnev and Mengistu Haile workers. This factor, the factor of the erring Mariam that it is necessary for the PMAC of the masses based on nationalism, is a to address itself to the Eritrean people. This given one. The main difficulty therefore is political initiative is extremely acute today that the mass of the Eritrean population does as never before. We deem it necessary that not understand the difference between the both the CPSU and the SED together exert imperial regime of Haile Selassi and the influence on Mengistu Haile Mariam in this policy of the PMAC.
respect. We have to take into consideration The fight continues as in earlier times that the position of the Eritrean movements under the imperial regime. This creates the has not become any less obstinate, because great necessity for intensified political work they still demand the separation of Eritrea. by the PMAC and above all by Mengistu This shows that there are no honest efforts Haile Mariam towards the Eritrean popula- for a political solution on the part of the tion. It was particularly this point that Com- Eritrean representatives. Therefore it is corrade Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev discussed with rect to work for a change in the current poMengistu Haile Mariam during his trip to sition of the Eritrean movements. It is espeMoscow.
cially necessary to receive from them a decThe PMAC is confronting a decisive, laration pledging that self-determination for
the Eritrean people will be achieved within the framework of a Ethiopian state. We received an information (report) in early May according to which direct contacts had been established between the PMAC and the EPLF. We do not know anything about the substance of these contacts. With respect to the concrete question whether it makes sense to continue the negotiations or to await military actions, Comrade Ulyanovsky stated that both sides had to be induced to stake part in) further negotiations and that at the same time a certain limited military pressure was quite useful, meaning that even with the continuation of the negotiation efforts certain military actions could not be precluded.
Concerning the question on the concrete coordination between the CPSU, the SED, and the Cuban CP, Comrade Ulyanovsky emphasized that all bilateral contacts with the Cuban CP are excellent and that the same applied to the SED. There has been no exchange of opinion with the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen on the part of the CPSU. They have, as is well known, pulled their troops out of Ethiopia. One has to take into consideration that the situation in the PDR Yemen is difficult. The PDR Yemen has to be protected.
Comrade Ulyanovsky agreed to put the proposal for the creation of a mechanism for consultation and coordination before the leadership of the CPSU. Concerning the question of a possible later public announcement of our parties on the Eritrean question (in some form), it is expedient to examine this in the light of the Moscow talks with Ahmed Nasser and the planned third meeting of the Ethiopian and Eritrean sides with the SED.
With respect to the question of expert consultations on variants of a solution, it is possible at any time for GDR scientists (specialists) to consult with Soviet comrades about concrete questions. Comrade Ulyanovsky thinks that at this point these contacts should be limited to the level of the International Relations Departments of the Central Committees. With respect to the involvement of CPSU experts in the consultation and negotiations at the third meeting, Comrade Ulyanovsky stated that he would put this question before the party leadership for decision. Concerning the guarantees called for by the Eritrean side, one can only get more precise on this point