Russian foreign policy
Russian policy in Africa
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     15.04.2002

STATEMENT BY ALEXANDER YAKOVENKO, THE OFFICIAL SPOKESMAN OF RUSSIA'S MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
On Ethiopian-Eritrean Settlement

     On April 13, the decision of the international arbitration body was announced in The Hague concerning the state boundary line between Eritrea and Ethiopia, thus concluding an important stage in the matter of resolving the territorial disagreements that led in 1998 to an armed confrontation between the two countries.

     Thanks to the vigorous efforts of the international community as represented by UN, the OAU and mediator states, an Ethiopan-Eritrean peace agreement was signed in Algiers in December of 2002 envisaging, in particular, the formation of a neutral Boundary Commission (BC). The future verdict of this body regarding the delimitation and demarcation of the joint border of the sides was determined in the document as having a final and binding character.

     Moscow welcomes the decision of the Commission, by which the causes for the territorial dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia have been removed. We highly value the responsible approach of Addis Ababa and Asmara, as manifested in their acceptance of the verdict of the BC.

     The order of the day now is the demarcation of the Eritrean-Ethiopian boundary under the auspices of the UN, including its Cartographic Service and Observer Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. We hope that this process will proceed with the constructive and effective cooperation of all the concerned parties.

     We are in favor of an early and full normalization of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea. We believe that very important now are practical steps toward the restoration of good-neighborliness between these states in the interests of their peoples and for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa sub-region.

April 15, 2002



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