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28 February 2005

United States Urges Peaceful Elections in Togo

U.S. supports actions by ECOWAS and AU, State Dept.'s Ereli says

The United States welcomes the stepping down of Togo's interim president, Faure Gnassingbe, and urges the Togolese " to avoid violence and to seek peaceful national reconciliation through democratic elections," State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said February 28.

Following is the text of Ereli's statement:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
February 28, 2005

Statement by Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman

Resignation of Interim President and Elections in Togo

The United States is pleased that Faure Gnassingbe has stepped down as interim President of Togo, preparing for the return of full constitutional order.

The Economic Community of West African States has lifted its sanctions on Togo and the African Union has issued a statement on the Togolese transition.  We welcome the success of these two organizations in upholding the principles of democracy and good governance enshrined in their charters. We join with them in urging all Togolese to conduct the upcoming elections peacefully and on the basis of consensus.

A key element for credible and transparent elections is unfettered access to the entire country and to all aspects of the electoral process for all political parties, relevant civil society organizations and international organizations providing assistance or fielding observer missions.  The United States will send a team of elections experts to assess how we may best support this effort.

Togolese governing and opposition parties and government security forces deserve credit for their responsible and peaceful conduct during political demonstrations held over the weekend.   We call on all Togolese to avoid violence and to seek peaceful national reconciliation through democratic elections.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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