SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES FOLLOWING HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

25 September 2003
SG/SM/8902-AFR/711

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES FOLLOWING HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

25/09/2003
Press Release
SG/SM/8902
AFR/711


SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES FOLLOWING


HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:


The Secretary-General is gratified at the successful conclusion of the high-level meeting convened by him today, which brought together leaders of the Governments of Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.  He welcomes the declaration, following the meeting, of the Principles on Good-Neighbourly Relations and Cooperation.


He pays tribute to the efforts of the Congolese people and their leaders, and the support provided by the African Union and the regional leaders that have contributed to the recent progress in the peace process, including the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


The Secretary-General applauds the opening of a new chapter in the peace process in the Great Lakes region, and calls on all parties to seize this window of opportunity to take a range of steps to normalize their bilateral relations -– including re-opening diplomatic missions, developing trade links, resolving the issue of refugees, and normalizing border controls.  With the steadfast commitment of all concerned, the goal of achieving a lasting peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will no longer be elusive.


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For information media. Not an official record.