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U.S. Calls on Ethiopia and Eritrea to Keep Working for Peace

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The United States calls upon the governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia to remain "fully engaged" in the Organization of African Unity peace process, and extends its "unqualified support" to the continuing efforts of the OAU and the personal representative of the Algerian president, Mr. Ahmed Ouayahia, the U.S. Department of State announced March 8.

In a statement released to the press, James Rubin, State Department spokesman, also noted the return to the United States of the special envoy of the president and the secretary of state, Anthony Lake, from a two-week mission to the region in support of mediation efforts.

Following is the text of Rubin's statement:

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
March 8, 2000

STATEMENT BY JAMES P. RUBIN, SPOKESMAN

SPECIAL ENVOY ANTHONY LAKE'S RETURN FROM ERITREA AND ETHIOPIA

In our ongoing effort to help bring about the peaceful resolution of the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Special Envoy of the President and the Secretary of State, Anthony Lake, has just returned from a two-week mission to the region. Mr. Lake's mission was in support of the mediation efforts led by the OAU and the Personal Representative of its current chairman, H.E. Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

During this latest round of mediation, the leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia reaffirmed their commitment to the Framework Agreement and Modalities for Implementation endorsed by the OAU Summit at Algiers in July, 1999. As announced by the OAU, consensus was reached on some of the provisions of the Technical Arrangements, while others require additional mediation to secure the mutual acceptance of the full document by both parties. Both Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi reaffirmed their confidence in the OAU mediation process, and their commitment to seeking a peaceful resolution to this conflict.

The United States calls upon the governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia to remain fully engaged in the OAU peace process, and extends its unqualified support to the continuing efforts of the OAU and the Personal Representative of the Algerian President, Mr. Ahmed Ouayahia.

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(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: usinfo.state.gov)