22 December 2003


I have been very concerned about the lack of progress in the implementation of the Algiers Agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea despite various efforts to break the stalemate, and about the serious negative implications that this may have for relations between the two countries and the future of the region.

In order to explore with you how best the current impasse in the implementation of the Algiers Agreement might be overcome and, to that end, in what ways my good offices aimed at helping to improve the over all relationship between the two countries could usefully be employed, I have appointed Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, former Foreign Minister of Canada, as my Special Envoy for Ethiopia-Eritrea.

I have decided to offer my good offices in the expectation that they would facilitate solutions that they would facilitate solutions that are beneficial to both parties. This will require not only the strong and sustained political will and commitment of the two Governments but also the full engagement and support of the international community.

In his capacity as my Special Envoy, Mr. Axworthy will be visiting the two countries soon. I should be grateful if you would receive him so that he could benefit from your views, assessment and advice on how he could perform the tasks I have entrusted to him and on the most effective way to carry out his important mandate.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Kofi A. Annan