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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

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Statement by Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
December 8, 2000

Secretary Albright to Attend the Ethiopia/Eritrea Peace Agreement Signing Event

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright will witness the signing of the peace agreement by Ethiopia and Eritrea in Algiers on December 12, at the invitation of President Bouteflika of Algeria. The final peace agreement builds on a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement brokered by the United States and the Organization of African Unity last June.

The Secretary looks forward to her first visit to Algeria and the opportunity to continue the broader dialogue she began with President Bouteflika at the UN General Assembly in September of this year. Joining the Secretary will be President Clinton's Special Envoy, former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice, and National Security Council Senior Director for Africa Gayle Smith, all of whom have worked selflessly and tirelessly towards achieving a peaceful resolution to this dispute. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Edward S. Walker, Jr. will be traveling in North Africa and will also join the Secretary in Algiers.

The United States has been saddened by the loss of life and other hardships that this war brought to the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea. We congratulate the leaders and people of both countries for having the courage to accept this peace agreement. We encourage the Governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea to return to the progress they were making before the war on poverty alleviation, economic development and democratic institution building.

We congratulate the Government of Algeria and the Organization of African Unity for the crucial role they played in concluding this agreement.

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