Security Council hopes Annan's visits to Ethiopia, Eritrea will break deadlock

15 July 2004

The United Nations Security Council today expressed the hope that the meetings between Secretary-General Kofi Annan and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia in their capitals earlier this month would bring new commitment from both to meet his Special Envoy for constructive negotiations over their problems.

After a closed briefing by peacekeeping chief Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the 15 Council members "called on the parties to speedily implement the decision of the Boundary Commission and to step up their cooperation with the Special Envoy in order to overcome the impasse in the peace process.

"They also called on the parties to enhance efforts to reach an effective and mutually acceptable political solution to the remaining problems."

Mr. Annan has said Special Envoy Lloyd Axworthy, Special Representative Legwaila Joseph Legwaila and the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), whose current mandate ends on 30 September, are ready to work with both governments to clarify issues, resolve differences and prevent incidents in the border area peacefully.

Some restrictions on UNMEE's freedom of movement were recently lifted, but the Council stressed that several other open questions, including direct flights between Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Asmara, Eritrea, remained unresolved and have resulted in considerable additional costs.


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