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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 3, 1996


Progress in Guatemalan Peace Process

The United States welcomes the announced agreement between the Government of Guatemala and the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unit (URNG) on social, economic and agrarian issues. This accord marks a milestone along the path to achieving enduring peace in Guatemala. As one of the Friends of the Guatemalan peace process, the United States will be represented at the May 6 signing ceremony in Mexico City by Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. Secretary Babbitt represented the President at the inauguration of Guatemalan President Arzu on January 14, 1996.

Four accords have already been signed. In March, the two sides announced the suspension of offensive military operations as a confidence-building measure. We congratulate the parties on their achievement and on their commitment to conclude a comprehensive peace accord as soon as possible. Ending Guatemala's 35-year long conflict is a crucial step towards national reconciliation, economic development and respect for human rights.

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