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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 23, 2002

President Bush, Presidents of Central African States Pledge Cooperation
Joint Statement by President George W. Bush and the Presidents of the Central African States

We, the Heads of State of the United States, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Sao Tome and Principe, met September 13, 2002 at the 57th United Nations General Assembly in New York.

We confirmed our commitment to cooperate to pursue regional peace, prosperity, freedom, and stability in Central Africa. In pursuit of these goals, we renewed our commitment to the political and economic reforms necessary to improve the lives of the people of Central Africa, and mobilize the resources required to advance development in the region. We will continue to show the leadership required to achieve these goals as the cornerstone of human freedom and dignity.

We will strengthen the capacity of the Economic Community for Central African States (CEEAC) and the Monetary and Economic Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) sub-regional organizations, and work with the Council for Peace and Security in Central Africa (COPAX)to prevent and resolve conflict, reduce human suffering, and promote regional economic integration.

Convinced that peace and security are global, we support the call by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and President Bush for Iraq to fulfill its obligations toward the United Nations. We agree that the UN Security Council must face its responsibilities and demonstrate the resolve to enforce its resolutions.

We further agreed that cooperation is essential to combat terrorism, and affirmed our commitment to build regional and national capabilities to share information and implement United Nations Security Council resolutions to eliminate and deny sanctuary for terrorist organizations, networks, and finance across Central Africa.

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