Gabon and Equatorial Guinea set terms of UN mediation over disputed islands

20 January 2004

The Foreign Ministers of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea have agreed to the terms of United Nations mediation to peacefully resolve their dispute over a number of strategic islands.

Meeting at UN Headquarters in New York yesterday with mediator Yves Fortier, the parties signed a communiqué outlining several procedural steps to be taken in future talks on sovereignty over the oil-rich islands of Mbanié, Coctotiers and Congas in the Corisco Bay.

The two sides also pledged to spare no effort in reaching a fair and peaceful resolution of their dispute.

The mediation effort stems from July when, during a meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the leaders of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea agreed to accept his good offices. Mr. Annan then named Mr. Fortier, a former Canadian Ambassador to the UN with extensive diplomatic experience, to conduct the talks.


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