Gabon and Equatorial Guinea set terms of UN mediation over disputed islands

Meeting at UN Headquarters in New York yesterday with mediator Yves Fortier, the parties signed a communiqué outlining several procedural steps to be taken in future talks on sovereignty over the oil-rich islands of Mbanié, Coctotiers and Congas in the Corisco Bay. The two sides also pledged to spare no effort in reaching a fair and peaceful resolution of their dispute.The mediation effort stems from July when, during a meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the leaders of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea agreed to accept his good offices. Mr. Annan then named Mr. Fortier, a former Canadian Ambassador to the UN with extensive diplomatic experience, to conduct the talks.