The government of Eritrea Friday released
71 Ethiopian soldiers captured in the border conflict between the two countries,
saying the group constituted the first batch.
"This unilateral humanitarian decision emanates from the stated policy of the government of Eritrea to release unconditionally, Ethiopian soldiers captured in the unfortunate conflict," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
"It also reflects the sincere desire of the government of Eritrea to see an early resolution of the border problem... through legal and peaceful means," it added.
The border conflict between the two countries flared up in May, resulting in the expulsion of each others nationals.
But in its Friday statement, the Eritrean foreign ministry reiterated that the government "does not see any rationale to this conflict. The border problem can only be resolved through technical demarcation and, if need be, by arbitration on the basis of established colonial treaties."
It renewed Asmara's call on "the international community to exert all necessary efforts to promote a legal and peaceful resolution of the problem."