Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States welcomes Eritrea’s rapprochement with its neighbors. We are encouraged by its stated commitment to reengage in an effort to establish enduring peace and regional cooperation and to open the door to its reintegration.
This is a historic moment of great opportunity for the Horn of Africa, but there is much more to do, particularly to address questions regarding the disposition of missing Djiboutian troops and the final status of the Djibouti-Eritrea border.
Mr. President, we believe the recent engagement between the two countries strongly suggests the political will and intent is strong enough to reach a solution with the support of the international community.
We are satisfied that the Council has agreed on a resolution that pays particular attention to the importance of Eritrea and Djibouti following through on their commitments to resolve these matters and continue to call on all parties to cooperate to reach a satisfactory outcome.
The United States predicates its support for lifting UN sanctions against Eritrea on the current lack of evidence connecting Eritrea to al-Shabaab. We appreciate the Sanctions Committee and Monitoring Group’s efforts to carry out their mandates in this regard.
Mr. President, we strongly support the renewal of the Sanctions Committee’s mandate to focus on Somalia. There is no doubt that Somalia has made significant progress over the last decade, due in large part to the support of its regional partners and the international community as a whole.
However, Somali capacity, including implementation of remaining arms restrictions and the ban on trade in Somali charcoal, remains limited due to security conditions, corruption, and uneven progress in governance.
We are confident that the Somalia Panel of Experts will remain diligent, faithfully fulfilling its mandate, especially as it relates to comprehensive investigations and reporting.
Mr. President, the United States will continue to support Somalia in its efforts to stabilize the country for its people, including by ensuring the international community takes all appropriate measures to maintain the integrity of the sanctions regime.