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White House Press Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Washington, DC
May 8, 2007


Remarks by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Permanent Representative, on Ethiopia and Eritrea and other matters, at the Security Council Stakeout

Ambassador Khalilzad: Good afternoon or good morning - good midday, almost.

Today the council discussed the situation with regard to Ethiopia and Eritrea. And the council has approved a statement that I will read:

Members of the Security Council remain deeply concerned by the impasse in the Eritrea-Ethiopia peace process and by the growing tension between the two countries. Members of the Security Council once again reaffirm the integrity of the temporary security zone and urge both parties to withdrawal immediately their troops and equipment from positions within and in proximity to the temporary security zone.

Members of the Security Council are encouraged by the statement that the prime minister of Ethiopia made to parliament on March 29, 2007 that the Ethiopian government has accepted the final and binding decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission and demand Ethiopia to implement fully and without delay the EEBC decision.

Members of the Security Council reiterate their support to UNMEE and their demand that Eritrea reverse, without delay or preconditions or restriction on UNMEE's movement and operations and call upon both parties to fully cooperate with UNMEE with a view to resuming the meetings of Military Coordination Commission.

Members of the Security Council reiterate their call on both parties to show maximum restraint and to reaffirm, to refrain from hostile public statements and from any threat or use of force against each other. Members of the Security Council welcome and look forward to the continuation of the ongoing efforts by the secretary-general and the international community to engage as stipulated in RES. 1741, 2007 - including by appointing a new special representative with Eritrea and Ethiopia to help them to normalize their relations, to promote stability between the parties and to lay the foundation for sustainable peace in the region.

Members of the Security Council reaffirm their unwavering commitment to the peace process, including in the full and expeditious implementation of the Algiers agreement, and implementation of the final and binding EEBC decision, and in this regard call upon both parties to request and enable the boundary commission to proceed with a complete and prompt demarcation of the border.

Thank you.

Now, I can answer your questions in my national capacity.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, was there any discussion of the Somalia conflict in this discussion of Ethiopia, given that it's part -- it seems like -

Ambassador Khalilzad: There was not.

Reporter: And I wanted to ask you one thing: You've been quoted as saying that Myanmar - or Burma as it's called in this country - may be on the agenda somehow this month, but I don't see it on your program of work. When do you expect it to be on?

Ambassador Khalilzad: I don't have a date for it. I discussed it as a possibility.

Reporter: (Inaudible) in your comments about 1559, when are you going to discuss it in the Security Council?

Ambassador Khalilzad: This is the Undersecretary Michel's report.

Reporter: No. The 1559, which is about Lebanon and -

Ambassador Khalilzad: Right. This is the Undersecretary Michel's legal counsel who reported to the council last week. We are consulting with each other and we're consulting with the secretary-general on the next steps.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, I have a question concerning the French elections. Do you have any anticipation that the election of Mr. Sarkozy - who's expressed some, relatively speaking, greater support for U.S. positions. Is it going to help your job here and have a real impact on U.S.-French relations as it pertains to, you know, global issues?

Ambassador Khalilzad: We congratulate Mr. Sarkozy for his victory and look forward to working with him and his government.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, on Kosovo, I just have a quick question. What timetable now in Kosovo? And do you have any comment on the Russian threat of the veto?

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, they have not made that threat to me. We are working with them. The report of the mission has been completed. It's been circulated. We are discussing with colleagues on a date for the discussion to take place and that discussion will take place in the next couple of days, in my view. And we are looking forward to working with our Russian colleagues.

As you know, the mission was the proposal of Ambassador Churkin and I believe it had a positive impact on moving the process forward. So he has not discussed any kind of veto with me. I don't want to speak for him, but our discussions have so far been in the spirit of cooperation.

Reporter: (Inaudible) have you and the Germans started to work on elements? And if so, how many people have seen them and how widely have you circulated them?

Ambassador Khalilzad: The report?

Reporter: No. Elements for a resolution on Kosovo.

Ambassador Khalilzad: Yeah, well those elements have been circulated to all the members. It was circulated a couple of days ago via the French representative. So all council members have that.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador?

Ambassador Khalilzad: Yes?

Reporter: Has there been any discussion of the amnesty report indicating that Russia and China have been providing weaponry to Sudan for use in Darfur? Was there any discussions or report of that?

Ambassador Khalilzad: I don't have anything on that.

Thank you all.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador - one more thing. How determined are you during your presidency to move ahead and to terminate the UNMOVIC mandate?

Ambassador Khalilzad: It would be very good if we could do that. I'm certainly one that believes that that should happen. And I started discussing that this morning with our Russian colleagues.

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Released on May 9, 2007

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