WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 -- U.S. President Bill Clinton met Wednesday with President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, discussing democratic and free-market reforms and the need for peace and 'food security' on the Horn of Africa. '(Clinton) expressed his appreciation for Eritrea's good start on the road to democracy and free markets in the nearly two years since its independence,' White House spokesman Mike McCurry said in a statement.
The two leaders also discussed the need for peace and stability in the 10-nation region known as the Horn of Africa, especially the Sudan and Somalia. 'They agreed that a peaceful resolution to the civil war in Sudan is essential not only for the long-suffering people of that nation but also for the security of Somalia's neighbors,' McCurry said. The two leaders also discussed thewithering famines that have plagued African countries, with both 'underscoring their joint effort to promote food security throughout the region,' McCurry said. The two presidents also 'welcomed' the excellent relations between the two countries and discussed ways to enhance the relationship, McCurry said.