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FM sees reconciliation, development, cooperation as three pillars for peace in Africa
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Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi stressed on Tuesday that reconciliation, development and cooperation should be the three major pillars underpinning peace in Africa.


Addressing a high-level meeting of the Security Council at the UN Headquarters in New York, Yang said a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity would be beyond our reach without stability and development in Africa.


"A stable and developing Africa is what the African people seek, and it serves the common interests of all countries," he noted, adding that "the United Nations, the Security Council in particular, is duty bound to help Africa maintain and build peace and embark on the road toward durable prosperity and stability."


Yang pointed out that peace in Africa faces both opportunities and challenges, stressing it is necessary to make comprehensive efforts at the national, regional and global levels to achieve peace.


"Reconciliation, development and cooperation should be the three major pillars underpinning peace in Africa," he said.


Yang said reconciliation is the key to peace in Africa, and all the ethnic groups and factions in countries concerned should put the national interests above everything else and endeavor to advance an inclusive political process, protect human rights, restore the rule of law, work together to promote national development, and enable all people to benefit from peace dividends.


Meanwhile, he noted that development is the basis for peace in Africa.


"In the last analysis, peace in Africa hinges on whether there is faster economic and social progress, whether the MDGs can be met as scheduled and whether the benefit of development can reach all," he declared.


"The rich natural resources in Africa should be a source of peace, not war," Yang added, emphasizing that "conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building should all aim at promoting development."


"We support the international community's efforts to help Africa in terms of capital, technology and governance, but there should be respect for African countries' national conditions and development models and one should not impose its own way on them," Yang said.


On cooperation, he said it is the means to achieve peace in Africa.


Only unity among African countries can lead to a bright future for the continent, Yang pointed out. "The African people are capable of resolving their problem in their own way."


He voiced support for the United Nations and the Security Council to provide more assistance to regional organizations in institutional building, information sharing, personnel training and peacekeeping operations.


However, Yang noted that when the Security Council decides to take mandatory measures, it should pay particular attention to the views of African countries.


The meeting, initiated and chaired by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was devoted to international efforts to settle the continent's festering conflicts. It was attended by representatives of 15 council members, including 11 heads of State or Government, the chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2007)

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