4 November 2005

Security Council Press Statement on Ethiopia and Eritrea

NEW YORK, 3 November (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the press statement on Ethiopia and Eritrea read out today by Security Council President Andrey Denisov (Russian Federation):

Members of the Council heard a briefing from the Secretary-General on the situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea during informal consultations on 3 November.

Members of the Council remain deeply concerned by both the unacceptable restrictions imposed on the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), which must be lifted, and the continued impasse in the implementation of the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission.

Members of the Council are also deeply concerned about reports received from the UNMEE, according to which both Ethiopia and Eritrea are moving military personnel on both sides of the Temporary Security Zone.

Members of the Council strongly urge both parties to show maximum restraint and to refrain from any threat or use of force against each other and to avoid any action which may lead to an escalation of the tension between the two countries.

Members of the Council reaffirm the integrity of the Temporary Security Zone, as provided in the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities of 18 June 2000.

Members of the Council express their deep appreciation for the contribution and the dedication of the troop-contributing countries to the work of UNMEE.  Whilst the safety and security of peacekeeping personnel remain a paramount concern, Members of the Council urge troop contributors to maintain their commitment to UNMEE at this difficult time.

Members of the Council support the upcoming visit of Ambassador Oshima to the UNMEE, in his capacity as Chairman of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations of the Security Council, and look forward to his report on his findings upon his return.

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