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|Wednesday, December 13, 2000, updated at 16:54(GMT+8)|
China Welcomes Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace AccordChina is pleased with and welcomes the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement by Ethiopia and Eritrea on Tuesday in Algiers, Algeria, said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
Spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue made the remark on Wednesday, December 13, when asked to comment on the matter.
She said that thanks to the active mediation of parties concerned within the international community, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed the peace agreement on Tuesday in Algiers, ending a two-year border conflict and hostility between the two neighboring countries.
"This will not only be conducive to the construction and development of their respective countries, and will also benefit peace, stability, security and development in the Horn of Africa and the continent as a whole," Zhang said.
"We heartily rejoice at and welcome the development," she said.
China expresses appreciation for and congratulates the international community, especially the Organization of African Unity (OAU), on their unremitting efforts to peacefully settle the conflict over the past two years, she said.
"We sincerely hope that with the help of OAU and the United Nations, the two countries, in the spirit of reconciliation and mutual understanding and compromise, will earnestly implement the accord, so as to seek a final and peaceful settlement of their border dispute at an early date," she added.
China will, as always, join the international community to work to help the two countries settle the territorial dispute and realize lasting peace, Zhang said.
Peace Treaty SignedEthiopia and Eritrea formally ended their two-year war on Tuesday, December 12, signing a peace agreement that halts a conflict over a barren patch of land that left tens of thousands dead.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed the accord before a crowd of applauding diplomats, many of whom participated in the peace process.
The signing, held at a government-owned resort outside the Algerian capital of Algiers, was attended by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
US President Clinton, traveling in Ireland, sent his congratulations. "My relief and happiness on this occasion mirrors the sadness I felt when I witnessed two allies and friends embroiled in a tragic conflict," he said.
"To the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea, I say the hope and promise of this day is yours," Albright told the gathering, adding, "May today"s peace last long in your children"s future."
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