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By United Nations - Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General
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NEW YORK, June 19, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General welcomes the signing of an agreement between the Government of Mali, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad and the High Council for the Unity of Azawad on 18 June in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The agreement provides for an immediate ceasefire, paves the way for the holding of presidential elections nationwide and commits the parties to discussing sustainable peace in Mali through an inclusive dialogue that will take place after the election.

The Secretary-General is encouraged by the parties' commitment to national reconciliation and the resolution of differences through dialogue. He urges them to begin implementation of the agreement at once.

The Secretary-General is grateful to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its mediation efforts, led by President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso and President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, with the support of the African Union and the United Nations. He reiterates that the United Nations stands ready to support the implementation of the agreement through the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and other members of the United Nations system, in cooperation with the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), the African Union and ECOWAS.