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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 31, 2003

Statement by the Press Secretary

U.S. Support for the Marcoussis Accord

The United States welcomes the signing of the Marcoussis Accord by all political parties involved in the Cote d'Ivoire conflict. We believe that the accord must be implemented without delay to bring an end to the violence in Cote d'Ivoire.

The United States believes that this framework to set up a power-sharing government of national reconciliation offers new hope for an open, transparent, and democratic resolution in Cote d'Ivoire. The United States calls on the people and forces of Cote d'Ivoire to establish a balanced and stable government.

It is critical that all political actors restrain their supporters from taking further violent actions, so as to swiftly restore peace and the rule of law in Cote d'Ivoire. The United States calls upon the people of Cote d'Ivoire to act in the national interest and for the public welfare, and to resolve the dispute peacefully. The United States calls on states neighboring Cote d'Ivoire to support the peace process by preventing any action that might undermine Cote d'Ivoire's security.

We applaud the efforts of President Jacques Chirac of France, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, President of the African Union Thabo Mbeki, and a number of Presidents of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries who met in Paris for the heads of state conference to build critical international support for the Marcoussis Accord and help resolve the conflict in Cote d'Ivoire.

The United States stands ready to assist Cote d'Ivoire in the implementation of the Marcoussis Accord.

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