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Volume 403: debated on Monday 10 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of progress towards the ratification of the all inclusive agreement signed in December 2002 between the participants of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue; and if he will make a statement. [101047]

Three issues are blocking the establishment of the transitional national government (TNG) provided for in the Global Accord (signed in Pretoria on 17 December 2002):

  • (i) Agreeing the constitution for the TNG;
  • (ii) Provision of security in Kinshasa for the TNG and its institutions;
  • (iii) Formation of a new national army.
  • Talks aimed at resolving these issues started in Pretoria on 25 February under the mediation of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative and the Government of South Africa. Our diplomatic staff in Kinshasa and Pretoria are monitoring the talks and remain on hand to support the mediation as required.