Statement by the Undersecretary of State Serri in regards to the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict

from Government of Italy
Published on 15 Jun 2000
Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Rino Serri and Representative of the European Union Presidency for the resolution of the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict will be in Algiers on Sunday. He made the following statement:

"Sunday morning in Algiers, Eritrea and Ethiopia will sign the proposal of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) that ratifies the end of hostilities and the formation of a peacekeeping force.

The efforts of the many that have been working for peace have obtained a first important result that stimulates two considerations. Firstly, that even in Africa it is possible to end conflicts and tragedies. It requires tenacity, determination and true respect for Africans even when they are involved in conflicts the reasons for which do not always appear motivated or comprehensible. Secondly, that a solid convergence between OAU negotiation initiatives, the motivated and joint support of the United States and the European Union can also perhaps obtain significant results in other parts of Africa.

We will now need a further political and financial commitment to deploy a peacekeeping force, apply the clauses of the agreement, move ahead with mine clearing operations, rebuild, support the other steps of the accords to resolve the open issues between the two countries and re-launch economic development.

Italy will continue to play a significant role because despite the many difficulties, we have always maintained an exacting dialogue with the two countries and because we were able to respond quickly to the humanitarian emergency that evolved.

We hope that the signing of Algiers will mark the start of a new phase of peace and development for both populations, the other countries in the Horn of Africa and for the troubled African continent".