After receiving a new peace plan put forward last month by Ethiopia that aims to end the country's long-running dispute with Eritrea, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed any move that might help solidify relations between the two Horn of Africa neighbours.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi submitted his five-point proposal to Ethiopia's Parliament on 25 November.
"The Secretary-General welcomes any step which may contribute to full implementation of the 2000 Algiers Agreements and the subsequent decision of the Boundary Commission, to the initiation of dialogue between Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as to the restoration of normal relations between these two neighbouring countries," said a statement issued by Mr. Annan's spokesman.
"Such relations could contribute in a major way to economic and social development in both countries, as well as to that of the whole region," it added.
The UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) peacekeeping operation is deployed between the two countries to monitor the ceasefire and ensure the observance of security commitments.