Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is playing down the prospect of another border war with Eritrea, despite rising tensions along the disputed frontier.
Mr. Meles says he still holds out hope that the contentious border issue with Eritrea can be settled through negotiations and diplomacy.
In recent weeks there have been troop redeployments on both sides of the one-thousand-kilometer border, which remains disputed after a two-year war that ended five-years ago with about 70-thousand people killed.
Mr. Meles, in an interview with journalists from Western news organizations, accused Eritrea of saber-rattling.
"The risk of war has not significantly increased simply because of the war rhetoric in Asmara recently,” the prime minister said. “And so while I cannot rule out the possibility of another round of conflict, I am not of the opinion that war is just around the corner. No, that is not my feeling."
The Ethiopian leader says he reinforced military units near the border last week to, as he put it, "prevent miscalculation on the part of Eritrea" at a time when Addis Ababa was rocked by anti-government demonstrations.
Eritrea wants the international community to put more pressure on Ethiopia to accept the map drawn by an independent commission to delineate the border.
Mr. Meles says he accepts the commission's ruling though he disagrees with it, arguing some villages and even homes are divided in half by the map.
He says he also wants talks with Eritrea on other key issues, such as Ethiopian access to the sea, and bilateral trade relations.