Russian foreign policy
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     Mart 22, 2002

On Talks to End Combat Actions in Angola

     The suspension by the Government of Angola of offensive combat operations against the military wing of UNITA, as announced earlier, has given an opportunity to embark on talks between the command of the Angolan Armed Forces and the leaders of groups of UNITA, the armed opposition, on a total cease-fire, which have begun in Moxico province in the east of the country.

     According to incoming reports, contacts of an analogous character are being established also in the provinces of Uige, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul. Combat actions are now practically not being conducted throughout the national territory.

     We express hope that the negotiation process that has begun will put an end to the military phase of the conflict, which has lasted in Angola more than a quarter-century, and will lead to the creation of conditions for the resumption of a political dialogue aimed at the completion of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.

     The issue now is about the demilitarization of UNITA, the incorporation of a number of its combat units in the Angolan Armed Forces, the demobilization of the other UNITA soldiers and their reintegrating into peaceful life.

     We note with satisfaction that the Government of Angola continues to regard UN and the troika of Angolan settlement observer countries, of which Russia is a part, as partners in completely unblocking the conflict in the country, and intends to regularly inform the UN Security Council, its Secretary General and the Troika members of the course of the talks with the military wing of UNITA.



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