WASHINGTON (AP) _ Delegations from Ethiopia and Eritrea opened indirect talks Monday at the State Department on issues growing out of the cessation of hostilities the two countries agreed to last month, a department spokesman said.

The two sides were to discuss demarcation of their disputed 620-mile border, compensation for deportees and the origins of their two-year war.

The delegations refuse to meet face-to-face and assembled in separate rooms, with State Department officials shuttling back and forth.

The war between the Horn of Africa neighbors claimed tens of thousands of lives. The cessation of hostilities was agreed on June 18 through mediation by the Organization of African Unity.