AT SECRETARY-GENERAL’S INVITATION, PRESIDENTS
NEW YORK, 5 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
At the invitation of the Secretary-General, President Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Biya of Cameroon met today in Paris, in the Secretary-General’s presence, to discuss the Bakassi Peninsula, as well as other issues of common interest.
In the course of their meeting, both Presidents agreed to: respect and implement the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Bakassi Peninsula; establish an implementation mechanism, with the support of the United Nations; and resume, in Abuja on 30 September, Ministerial-level meetings of the Joint Commission.
The two Presidents also agreed on the need for confidence-building measures, including the eventual demilitarization of the Peninsula, with the possibility of international observers to monitor the withdrawal of all troops; an early visit to Nigeria by President Biya; and the avoidance of inflammatory statements or declarations on the Bakassi issue by either side.
There was recognition by the two Presidents that the Bakassi Peninsula issue needed to be seen in the wider context of the overall relationship between Nigeria and Cameroon. In this context, the two leaders expressed their determination to restore the fraternal and neighbourly relations that existed between Cameroon and Nigeria until recently. Possibilities were also discussed for cooperation in the economic field, including joint ventures, for example in the water and electricity sectors.
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