On the Extension of the Mandate of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea
The United Nations Security Council on March 12 unanimously adopted Resolution 1531 extending the mandate of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) for another six months - through September 15, 2004.
The resolution notes the continuing dead-end situation in the peace process, which has resulted in the first place from the absence of progress in the demarcation of the boundary between the two states, and urges Addis Ababa and Asmara to engage comprehensively with UNMEE, the Boundary Commission and the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy, Lloyd Axworthy.
Members of the Council particularly stressed that the primary responsibility for implementation of the Algiers Agreements lies with both parties. In this connection the crucial importance was reaffirmed of a political dialogue between them, including through confidence-building measures.
The resolution sends Ethiopia and Eritrea a clear signal of the possibility of an adjustment of the UN Mission's mandate depending on the dynamics of the situation in the zone of conflict and the fulfillment by the parties of their settlement obligations.
Moscow expects this Security Council decision to help unblock the peace process between the two parties by politico-diplomatic methods and under the aegis of the UN.
Russia, for its part, will continue to make a contribution to achieving this objective, in particular within the framework of the UN Security Council and through participation in UNMEE activities.