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DATE=6/29/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251215 TITLE=CONGO TALKS (L) BYLINE=JOHN PITMAN DATELINE=LUSAKA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: MINISTERIAL TALKS ON A CEASEFIRE FOR CONGO-KINSHASA HAVE RESUMED IN ZAMBIA AFTER A DAY OF DISAGREEMENTS AND DELAYS. V-O-A'S JOHN PITMAN IN ZAMBIA'S CAPITAL, LUSAKA, REPORTS THE MINISTERS SAY THEY ARE NOW CLOSE TO SIGNING THE DRAFT CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT. TEXT: THE FOREIGN AND DEFENSE MINISTERS REOPENED THEIR TALKS TUESDAY MORNING WITH SMILES AND CONFIDENT DECLARATIONS THAT ANY REMAINING QUESTIONS WILL BE WORKED OUT. CONGOLESE FOREIGN MINISTER ABDULAYE YERODIA SAID AN AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED ON THE CRITICAL ISSUE OF THE WITHDRAWAL OF FOREIGN TROOPS FROM CONGO. HE SAID ALL SIDES HAD ACCEPTED A UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION CALLING FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF "INVITED" AND "NON-INVITED" TROOPS. WHILE HE DID NOT SAY IF AN AGREEMENT HAD BEEN REACHED ON THE SEQUENCE OF THESE TROOP WITHDRAWALS, OTHER OFFICIALS SAY THE TWO SIDES HAVE ACCEPTED A 100-DAY PERIOD DURING WHICH A TIMETABLE FOR THE WITHDRAWALS WOULD BE DRAWN UP. HOLDING ONE OF HIS TRADEMARK CIGARS IN ONE HAND AND A GOLD PEN IN THE OTHER, MR. YERODIA SAID HE IS READY -- IN PRINCIPLE -- TO SIGN THE AGREEMENT. /// YERODIA ACT - IN FRENCH - FADE UNDER /// "YOU SEE, I AM READY TO SIGN," HE SAID, BRANDISHING HIS PEN. "LOOK, I EVEN HAVE TAKEN MY PEN OUT OF MY POCKET." ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CONFERENCE HALL, REBEL FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPOKESMAN BIZIMA KARAHA ALSO WAS MORE UPBEAT THAN HE WAS WHEN HE LEFT THE TALKS ON MONDAY. HE DISMISSED REPORTS THAT DIVISIONS WITHIN THE REBELLION WERE BLOCKING THE TALKS AND SAID OTHER QUESTIONS COULD BE RESOLVED AS EARLY AS TODAY /// KARAHA ACT /// WE BELIEVE THAT BY THE END OF TODAY, WE SHALL HAVE TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEMS WHICH ARE HERE. /// END ACT /// AMID THIS OPTIMISM, ZAMBIA'S MINISTER FOR PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS, ERIC SILWAMBA, WHO IS CHAIRING THE TALKS, ISSUED AN APPEAL FOR RESTRAINT AS THE TALKS GOT STARTED. /// SILWAMBA ACT /// WE SHOULD RESIST ANY TEMPTATION TO REOPEN OLD WOUNDS AND NOT ENTER INTO LONG DEBATE AND BITTER EXCHANGES, WHICH WOULD ONLY SERVE TO DELAY THE ATTAINMENT OF THAT WHICH WE ALL CHERISH AND FOR WHICH WE ARE ASSEMBLED HERE -- PEACE IN THE D-R-C (CONGO-KINSHASA). /// END ACT /// MR. SILWAMBA SAID THE TALKS WOULD CONTINUE UNTIL AN AGREEMENT IS REACHED. HE SAID A SIGNING CEREMONY FOR THE HEADS OF STATE INVOLVED IN THE CONFLICT WOULD NOT BE ORGANIZED UNTIL AFTER THE MINISTERS FINISH THEIR WORK. (SIGNED) NEB/JP/JWH/KL 29-Jun-99 7:13 AM EDT (1113 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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