An international commission attempting to set a boundary between Ethiopia and Eritrea has ended its work after the rival countries failed to demarcate their border.

The boundary commission dissolved itself Friday after a deadline passed for the two neighboring countries to agree on a new border.

The commission delineated the border on maps in 2002, but was never able to mark the border on the ground because of a long-running dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The commission said Friday the border it set in 2002 will stand.

Ethiopia's prime minister, Meles Zenawi, dismissed what he described as the commission's "virtual demarcation" as legal nonsense.

The commission was established as part of an agreement that ended a war between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2000. At the time, both countries pledged to accept the commission's ruling.

Tensions along the frontier between the two countries have been high in recent weeks, with both sides massing troops in anticipation of a resumption of their border war.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.