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PRESS RELEASE
UN Security Council Presidential Statement on Ethiopia and Eritrea

2676-15-12-2005

On December 14 the UN Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement over the situation that has developed around the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).

As is known, the Government of Eritrea on December 6 demanded in the form of an ultimatum that the peacekeeping personnel of the Mission from the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia leave the country within a ten-day period.

The UN Security Council in this connection decided to temporarily relocate some military and civilian staff of the Mission from Eritrea to Ethiopia. In its decision the Council proceeds exclusively from the interests of UNMEE personnel safety.

The UN Security Council strongly condemned Eritrea's unacceptable actions and restrictions on UNMEE, which have drastically reduced any meaningful operational capacity for the Mission.

The Security Council, reminding Eritrea of the demands addressed to it that are contained in Resolution 1640 of November 23, 2005, which are still not being met by the Eritrean Government, intends to immediately consider all the options with regard to the further relocation and functions of the Mission in the context of its purposes and capacity to act effectively. The UN Security Council intends to maintain a military presence of UNMEE in Eritrea while it considers plans concerning the Mission.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation holds that the Eritrean Government's actions inflict serious damage on UN peacekeeping activities as awhole and calls upon Eritrea to urgently reverse all the restrictions that hinder the Mission's fulfillment of its mandate, which will serve as an effective step towards the relaxation of tension in this conflict area.

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