DR of Congo: Annan welcomes agreement to start inter-Congolese dialogue

DR of Congo: Annan welcomes agreement to start inter-Congolese dialogue

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he was pleased to learn that a preparatory meeting aimed at bringing together the parties to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had reached an agreement to start the official Inter-Congolese Dialogue on 15 October in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

A spokesman for the Secretary-General said in a statement in New York that Mr. Annan had noted the readiness of the parties to sit at the same negotiating table for the first time since the start of the conflict, and discuss how to achieve enduring peace and national reconciliation in their country.

"He encourages them to build on the spirit of Gaborone and wishes them success in their endeavour," the spokesman said, referring to the preparatory meeting, which had been held from 20 to 24 August in the capital of Botswana.

The Secretary-General also commended the Dialogue's Facilitator, Sir Ketumile Masire, and his team for their hard work and reiterated the continued readiness of the UN to assist and support their efforts.